September 18, 2012

Taser Death: Bill Williams (Everett, WA)

A 60-year-old man who had long suffered from bipolar disorder died in a jail cell Friday, September 14th, hours after police tased him and placed him in isolation. Bill Williams was arrested for shoplifting at a gas station in Snohomish County, Washington. He had recently stopped taking his medication, and his family said they called the police and his case manager the previous week saying he needed to be hospitalized, but were ignored.

Williams' family says that he was mentally ill. Does it seem that police have a taser-happy trigger finger when they are in the presence of the mentally ill? And since when is it appropriate for the police to electrocute an unarmed senior citizen to death for the crime of 'shoplifting'?

2 comments:

Reggie said...

He's not the first man that the police have executed and he won't be the last unfortunately.

Villager said...

Reggie - Mr. Williams was a white guy, but your comment reminds me of a line from a book by Walter Mosley ('Fearless Jones') in which one of the characters thinks to himself, "I'm almost always on the right side of the law, but lawmen scare me anyway, they terrify me. I have always believed that more Black folks have been killed by those claiming to be enforcing the law than by those who were breaking it."