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Family Of Black Man In DeKalb County Who Died After Police Shot At Him Demands Release Of Video Footage

The family of Matthew Zadok Williams were shown video footage of the shooting and the events surrounding it Thursday evening.
The family of Matthew Zadok Williams were shown video footage of the shooting and the events surrounding it Thursday evening.
Credit Courtesy of the family of Matthew Zadok Williams

Matthew Zadok Williams called his mother every other day. So Chrys Ann Lewis got worried earlier this week when she didn’t hear from her son.

“My son always calls me. He listens to me. He makes me feel like a little girl,” said Lewis, surrounded by four of her daughters while making preparations for Williams’ funeral.

“I’m just going to miss talking to him,” she said. “I miss my son.”

Williams, a Black man, was 35. He liked to trade stocks, and he babysat his four nephews and six nieces.

“He and I was very, very close,” said Deborah Williams, one of Williams’ five older sisters. “He was very compassionate. Very loving. Very caring.”

At what Williams’ family says was his own home, DeKalb County police shot at him at least twice Monday and tried to use a Taser on him. Williams then died, according to a preliminary report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI and DeKalb County police have not said what caused Williams’ death, and they did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

Williams’ family is calling for the release of any recordings of the shooting or the events surrounding it.

According to the report from the GBI, DeKalb County police were responding to a 911 call about a man with a large knife, and once they arrived, Williams “made movements” at them with a knife.

“It’s very important that everyone knows that that narrative is false,” said Deborah Williams.

Attorney Mawuli Davis is working with the family, and he said witnesses have made clear Williams was not trying to fight police, but instead was running for his life.

“In our interview of a witness,” Davis said, “we found out that there was a white woman who called police saying that [Williams] looked suspicious, and that was the extent of the report.”