Another Black man’s life has been lost due to a police shooting.
On Monday, Matthew Zadok Williams, 35, was shot and killed in his home near Decatur, Georgia around 4 p.m. after DeKalb County police responded to reports of a man with a knife, per the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, although they have not released any audio from a 911 call yet, nor have they confirmed who placed this call. The police are alleging that he “lunged at officers with a knife on two separate occasions,” ultimately leading to the shooting, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
However, the family of the victim does not believe this narrative.
Wiliams’ sister, Hahnah Williams, told the publication that he was a “non-violent person.” She added, “He wouldn’t kill a bug.” His mother and his sisters are adamant on getting the DeKalb County Police Department to release the body camera footage of the incident, as they feel he would not show any aggression toward the cops.
One of Williams’ neighbors said he saw Matthew flee from officers and jump through a glass window before the first round of gunfire. The neighbor also mentioned he didn’t see Williams with any kind of weapon, and after Matthew dove into the window, he heard someone scream and a gun go off once, followed by several other shots shortly after.
The family’s attorney Mawuli Davis told the AJC, “Based on what we’re hearing, whatever happened is very, very different from what police are reporting.” The attorney also called for the bodycam footage to be released.
Hahnah said she believes Matthew was dealing with a plumbing problem outside of his condo, and neighbors saw him with a blue bucket– but no knife. She thinks the officers “caught him by surprise” ultimately leading to him running and breaking his window. “He was so scared, he kicked his own window in just to get away,” she said.
Natalie Ammons, a GBI spokeswoman, said officers attempted to use a taser on Williams instead of a gun, but the taser didn’t work, leading to the use of their firearms. The DKCB has launched an internal investigation on the incident.
Williams’ mother Chris Ann Lewis said the police didn’t notify her of her son’s death until the following day, according to the AJC.
The victim’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help support them with legal fees in seeking justice for his death.