RALEIGH, N.C. — A man who died after police officers in North Carolina’s capital city repeatedly used stun guns on him died from “sudden cardiac arrest” related to cocaine intoxication and the police confrontation, according to the state’s autopsy released on Wednesday.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner also labeled the Jan. 17 death of 32-year-old Darryl Tyree Williams a homicide.
The autopsy report listed Williams’ death “as sudden cardiac arrest in the setting of cocaine intoxication, physical exertion, conducted energy weapon use, and physical restraint.” A toxicology analysis detected cocaine and a chemical contained in marijuana among others in his blood, the report said.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been looking into the death and the role of Raleigh Police Department officers who said they were trying to arrest Williams for possession of a controlled substance.
Several officers were placed on leave as part of the investigation. Williams’ family called on officials to fire officers and charge them in his death.
The SBI did not provide an update Wednesday on the investigation. Emails sent to the Williams family’s attorney and Raleigh police spokespersons seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Police have said they were trying to arrest Williams after they found a folded dollar bill with white powder in his pocket.
Police said two officers stunned Williams with a Taser a total of three times as they tried to take him into custody. The autopsy said injuries on his back were consistent with stun gun use.
Williams, a Black man, can be heard in body and dashboard camera videos released by police in February protesting that he didn’t do anything and warning that he had a heart problem. Medical records showed he had a history of an unspecified irregular heartbeat, Wednesday’s report said.
Obesity and “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease” also contributed to his death, the report said, adding that Williams also had a “known medical history” of tobacco, marijuana and cocaine abuse.
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