“It is with no pleasure I have dipped my hands in the corruption here exposed. Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so. The awful death-roll that Judge Lynch is calling every week is appalling, not only because of the lives it takes, the rank cruelty and outrage to the victims, but because of the prejudice it fosters and the stain it places against the good name of a weak race.”
-Ida B. Wells Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
Police pursued Williams for an attempted robbery. For 15 minutes Williams repeatedly told officers he was having trouble breathing, until he died. Officers ignored his pleas for assistance until finally Derek stopped breathing. The coroners initially stated Derek died from natural causes. But upon learning about the officers’ excessive use of force, Williams’s death was classified as a homicide. Jsonline has diligently reported on Williams story, but it has taken the national media over a year to report his story. Be sure to check out their updates and follow his story as his family and community seeks justice. Below is the unsettling video of his plea with officers before he finally takes his last breath.