A police shooting has led to the death of another Black man.
Matthew Zadok Williams was fatally shot on Monday at his home near Decatur, Georgia, with DeKalb County police alleging that he “lunged at officers with a knife on two separate occasions,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
The incident took place around 4 p.m. on Monday at Williams’ condo, when officers responded to a report of a man with a knife, per the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Police say the 35-year-old lunged at them two times—a story Williams’ family doesn’t believe.
“He was a non-violent person. He wouldn’t kill a bug,” his sister, Hahnah Williams told the AJC. His mother and sisters don’t think he would have been aggressive toward the cops and are demanding the DeKalb County Police Department to surrender the body camera video of the incident.
A neighbor also relayed a different story, saying he saw Matthew flee from officers and jump through a glass window before the first round of gunfire. “Based on what we’re hearing, whatever happened is very, very different from what police are reporting,” Williams’ family attorney Mawuli Davis told the publication. He also called for the police to release the footage.
Hahnah said she thinks her brother was dealing with a plumbing situation outside his condo when police appeared. She believes the officers “caught him by surprise” and that was the reason he ran away and broke his window. The neighbor added that he didn’t see Williams wielding a weapon. After Matthew dove into the window, the neighbor said he heard someone scream and a gun go off once. He then heard a handful of more shots.
Williams’ mother Chris Ann Lewis told the AJC the police didn’t inform her of her son’s death until the following day.
GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons said officers attempted to use a taser on Williams instead of a gun, but the taser didn’t work. One cop then used his gun, and afterward, Williams’ body was found in his home. The DCPD has launched an internal review into the incident and the GBI is overseeing an independent probe.
Williams’ family has set up a GoFundMe page to help seek justice for his death, which as of this writing has raised over $15,200 out of a $35,000 goal, via more than 450 donors. In the description, the family shares more about Williams, describing him as, “An avid reader. An activist. A humanitarian. A pacifist. He was full of life and love so exuberant that he radiated. He was the only boy out of six children and we cherished every moment with him. My family is devastated by this lost. Our lives will never be the same.”