DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced she will not be filing charges against the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Matthew Zadok Williams, a Black man who was reportedly “trespassing” at his family home when cops killed him.
On Tuesday, Boston revealed her decision not to prosecute any of the officer’s involved, while adding their use of force was “justified” and that the cop had “no criminal culpability” in the deadly April 2021 shooting, according to Fox5 Atlanta.
However, a doctor hired by the Williams’ family determined that he would likely survived if officers had aided him after the shooting. His mother and five sisters had been seeking justice for Matthew, who they say had a mental health crisis when cops killed him.
“It is no less a tragedy or heartbreaking,” Boston said. “A life has been lost and for that we extend our deepest condolences to the family. While this is not the resolution Mr. Williams family is seeking, it is the appropriate resolution under the law,” she added.
In April 2021, police officers fatally shot the 35-year-old at his home near Decatur, Georgia. DeKalb County officials allege that he “lunged at officers with a knife on two separate occasions.”
Shot To Death By Police While “Trespassing” Around His Own Home
The Williams family had previously spoke to TSR Investigates reporter Justin Carter last year about Williams’ tragedy. A neighbor placed a 9-1-1 call alleging Williams was suspiciously lurking before police arrived, armed. He was looking for his keys around his own home.
In an updated episode of the series, the family now tells The Shade Room that police were aware that Williams lived in the home where he was shot. He subsequently died for “trespassing” with a knife. Officer Mikhail Morgan, one of the responding offices, had in fact responded to a “mental health crisis” 911 call placed by Williams just weeks earlier.
Body cam footage shows Williams as he approaches one of the officers, with knife in hand, outside of the family home before police opened fire and shot him. The video goes on to show Williams going back into the house while officers continued to shoot at him.
Family Says Officer Who Pulled The Trigger Violated Policies And Ignored Signs Of Mental Health Crisis
One of the officers on scene, Sgt. Devon Perry, a Black man himself, can be heard pleading with Williams to surrender before shooting him in the chilling video footage.
“Please, sir. I’m begging you. I’m a Black man, you’re a Black man. You don’t have to die today. I don’t want you to die today,” Sgt. Perry tells Williams just before to the fatal shooting.
However, Williams’ family said Sgt. Perry violated police policies that day and believes he should have handled the situation as a mental health crisis instead of as a crime, according to Fox5 Atlanta.
The family had previously called for Perry to be fired from the police force prior to the District Attorney’s decision not to prosecute him on Tuesday, but he remains employed as a police officer to this day, online records show.