UPDATE: MONROE, La. (07/24/2020) — The Monroe Police Department and The City of Monroe have released a statement regarding the excessive force complaint regarding the night of April 21, 2020, involving at least eight Monroe Police officers and Timothy Williams.
Of the eight officers involved, the statement indicates that only two officers used force. As a result, an arrest warrant for one of the arresting officers has been issued. Additionally, three Monroe Police officers have been placed on administrative leave, totaling four officers on leave.
Here is what Mayor Friday Ellis has to say in response to this incident:
“The City of Monroe and The Monroe Police Department will not tolerate or condone misconduct by officers nor the mistreatment of any of our citizens. We are conducting this investigation with the highest degree of integrity possible. Our officers take an oath to protect and serve our citizens, and our officers perform their jobs dutifully and in accordance with that oath every day. Officers who break the law or violate policy will be held fully accountable and we will keep this process as transparent to the public as possible within the limits of an ongoing investigation.”Mayor Friday Ellis
This investigation is ongoing and the releasing of bodycam footage will happen soon, according to the release. We will update you as more information becomes available.
MONROE, La. (07/18/2020) — Timothy Williams describes the night of April 21st where what started as a routine stop and search turned into anything but.
“The officer came out of nowhere stomping and kicking me in my face and every time my face hit the ground I’d go to sleep, I’d wake up, I’d go to sleep, I’d wake up.”Timothy Williams
Williams says Monroe Police Officers asked to check his bookbag, he complied, but it was when he says eight or nine officers surrounded him that the situation escalated.
“I got scared and I started running,” said Williams.
However, when he realized he couldn’t outrun them, he surrendered.
“I put my hands up and I got down on the ground, put my hands behind my back.”Timothy Williams
Instead of being taken into custody, Williams alleges that he was beaten, battered, and bruised. He was then taken to St. Francis Medical Center where he was treated for a couple of hours. Then he was transported to the Ouachita Correctional Center.
“He was denied, I believe, it was two different prescriptions while he was in OCC and he also had seizures while he was in the rubber room,” said one of the attorneys on the case, Kristen Pleasant.
The rubber room, also known as isolation, was where Williams resided for two weeks. He couldn’t make any phone calls and had limited interaction with people.
As a result, Lead Counsel, Donecia Banks-Miley, and her team are calling for justice because Williams indicated this isn’t the first time police have put their hands on him.
“This has happened to me in the past and I let it go because I had no help in the past,” he said.
The team has requested the bodycam footage, they say all inquires have been denied.
“We want the city to be transparent, we want the bodycam footage because we believe it will speak for itself.”Kristen Pleasant
Williams is missing teeth and is left with multiple scars because of this incident. He says he still fears for his life but wants everyone to know that is it doesn’t matter the circumstance, every life matters even the homeless.
“They thought I was a nobody, I was nothing just because I’m homeless. I am somebody, I am something.”Timothy Williams
The attorneys say one of the officers involved had been fired from the Monroe Police Department before, but he appealed, and his job was reinstated.
“We believe that Mr. Williams may not have been subjected to this type of brutality has his termination been upheld by the Civil Service Board,” said Attorney Jessica Williams.
“We want the public to know that there is a criminal investigation pending that’s against the officers,” said Pleasant.
So now they wait until the District Attorney’s Office makes the next move. The Monroe Police Department is working to prepare a statement for release.