Man dies after arrest... family demands answers

Man dies after arrest... family demands answers
Reggie Williams (Source: Family)
Reggie Williams (Source: Family)

A Cleveland resident says that she witnessed police use brute force during an arrest which ultimately ended with the death of the man in custody.

There is mounting controversy over the way Reggie Williams died.

"I heard stories about what happened to my son," says Tina Taylor, Reggie's mother.

Witnesses led a 19 Action News crew to the site of the confrontation and said police caught Reggie in a field after he ran from them for an earlier altercation.

"They had him back there for about an hour; just kept tasing and tasing him until the taser quit working.  They just kept talking ignorant to him," says Kimberly Hawthorne.

They say what happened there was excessive.

When asked what upset her the most, an unnamed witness had this to say, "The fact that they killed him.  That was not necessary at all. They had him.  Why did they go to that extreme?  They already had the man on the ground… They could of drug him up the hill, there were so many of them… I observed them tase him at least three or four times in a short period of time."

"He was at my house.  There wasn't an altercation.  It was an issue amongst friends... I heard one of the police say 'Look at this stupid m/f he's about to die," says Eizelle Gardner.

The incident happened on Friday, October 4, at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the area of E. 76th and Harvard.

29-year-old Williams was taken to Marymount Hospital where he was pronounced dead Saturday morning at around 8 a.m.

"When I got there my son was already dead and he was cold.  I knew he had been dead for hours.  I know this because I work in the nursing field," says Reggie's mom.

Cleveland Police reports say that Reggie did not die during the arrest and once he was apprehended he stated he was exhausted and could not stand up.  The report also states that he was caught after he became entangled on a barb wire fence and was transported to Marymount Hospital where he died.

That's not good enough for the mother of Reggie Williams.

"The one that said that stupid m/f is about to die, I want to talk to him.  I believe the police did it.  They let my son die.  That's what I believe."

Officers say that there was no reported use of force by officers at the time of arrest.

The official cause of death will be determined by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

19 Action News was informed that the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit and Integrity Control Section will follow up with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office in connection with the incident.

A vigil has been planned for Reggie Williams at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 7, at 78th St. and Harvard Ave.

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