Suit Claims Sumter Cops Murdered Unarmed, Surrendered Black Man by Shooting Him 17X in the Back at Close Range
From [HERE] and [HERE] and [HERE] The sister of a Black man who was killed by Sumter police (South Carolina) after a car chase claims in a lawsuit that three officers shot her unarmed brother 17 times in the back — as he lay on the ground.
Waltki Cermoun Williams "did not have a weapon" and was struck in total by 19 of the two dozen shots fired at him during the deadly confrontation on Dec. 10, according to a lawsuit filed in Sumter County.
The lawsuit alleges that Williams' death was caused by grossly negligent and reckless actions of the city and police department which failed to properly train and supervise officers in the standards and procedures involved during a pursuit and the use of deadly force.
35-year-old Williams reportedly had an altercation with his girlfriend at a mall. Police came to the scene, and a car chase ensued from Sumter Mall on Broad Street to the intersection of Miller Road and Guignard Drive, where Williams' vehicle crashed into another vehicle. He crawled out of a window. According to the lawsuit, police then fired 17 shots into his back even though he was unarmed.
The race of the officers who filed the fatal shots was not specified in the court papers and they have not been identified. in photo above, racist suspect, Sumpter Police Chief Russell F. Roark.
Police, in a news release, said they were responding to reports that "a female was afraid to go outside of the mall after an estranged boyfriend threatened to kill her and was seen outside pointing a firearm at her vehicle."
Police claim "Williams got out the vehicle, a short foot chase followed." The police statement states, "there was a brief struggle and then an exchange of gunfire, the details of which are under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division."
However, there's are two eyewitnesses who saw it.
Photo above is from the Sumter Police official web page.
The lawsuit lays out a different scenario — and there is no mention of any exchange of gunfire.
According to the lawsuit, Williams threw an object through the rear glass window of the vehicle and exited through that area. He then ran approximately 10 steps before he was tackled by officers and driven to the ground.
Williams "did not have a weapon and he was not a threat in any way," the lawsuit states.
"While on the ground the decedent did not have a weapon and he was not a threat in any way to the police officers on the scene," the suit states. "One of the officers moved away from the decedent (while he was still laying on the ground and not moving) and at least three (3) Sumter Police officers made the conscious decision to utilize inappropriate and improper use of deadly force by firing their service weapons indiscriminately at least twenty-four (24) times directly at and into the decedent.
The lawsuit states Williams was struck by at least 19 bullets - 17 of which went into his back. The plaintiff claims to have been informed that six bullets exited the chest; one bullet exited the right side of the neck; and other bullets struck the upper and middle portion of the left arm.
"Additionally, firing their weapons 24 times at close range at an unarmed man lying still on the ground is so extreme and outrageous that it shocks the conscious (sic)," according to the lawsuit.
The document also states the "plaintiff is entitled to actual and consequential damages in an amount to be determined by a jury in accordance with the law and evidence of this case."
There was no immediate comment from the Sumter Police Department beyond a denial of the allegations laid out in the lawsuit.
In a statement following the incident, Sumpter Police Chief Russell F. Roark III blamed the tragedy on domestic violence.
“This incident shows the devastating, far-reaching effects of domestic violence on individuals, families, law enforcement, the Sumter community and the state as a whole,” he said.