LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The family of a man who died in Las Vegas police custody in 2019 will sue the city and the officers involved.

Byron Williams, 50, died Sept. 5, 2019 after he was stopped by officers for not having a safety light on his bicycle. Williams told officers "I can't breathe" as an officer put his knee on Williams' back. 

Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci will represent Williams' family in the lawsuit. Crump recently represented the family of George Floyd.

"24 times he said I can't breathe, and they're laughing and making jokes? In many ways it may be worse than George Floyd," Crump said. "They were laughing and joking about it. How many more? How many more?"

Crump, joined by Williams' family and George Floyd's brother and nephew, spoke at a news conference Thursday morning.

"We were sitting in that exact position," Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams said looking towards Williams' family. "It hurts. Its hard. There are a lot of long days ahead."

"You can go to Eric Gardner when he said he couldn't breathe and nobody believed him. You can go to my brother George Floyd, no body believed him. You look what Byron Williams had to go through, he said it 24 times and police officers they didn't care," Floyd's brother Philonise said.

Williams' death was ruled a homicide. He died of methamphetamine intoxication, with other contributing factors of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, pulmonary fibrosis, granulomatous lung disease and prone restraint, the Clark County Coroner said at the time. The Clark County District Attorney decided to not file charges against police in Williams' death.

"I want to see more than policy changes. I want to see laws passed. I want to see accountability and transparency," Williams' niece Teena Acree said. "I want those officers to be held accountable."

LVMPD said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Crump said he's calling on the U.S. Department of Justice and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford to investigate Las Vegas police policies, practices and conduct in Williams’ death.

The Nevada Attorney General's office told FOX 5, they could not confirm or deny if there is an ongoing criminal investigation. 

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(3) comments

Nevermore

So when do the riots start? I need a new microwave.

Mediumjeep

Homeboys family just waiting for a getto lottery !

jeezlouise

Obamas Communist DOJ looking to discredit, vilify and bankrupt police so they can bring in the "Federal BLM police" their Marxist terrorists to do exactly what is happening in South Africa- Obama and Holder are domestic terrorists.

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