New York, NY — A 25-year-old resident of New York died in a subway station surrounded by those sworn to protect, a disturbing new video shows.
On September 17, 2013, Barrington Williams was selling illegal MetroCard swipes. For the crime of letting people into the subway with his unlimited pass for a smaller fee than the metro, Williams would die while police stood around and watched.
The surveillance footage from inside the Yankee Stadium subway station was released this week showing cops chasing and then tackling Williams for this petty crime.
In the video, we can see that Williams is handcuffed at 1:57 p.m. Not until the Fire department arrived over 10 minutes later, however, did anyone begin life-saving procedures on a man who was in clear medical distress.
According to a report in the NY Daily News,
Firefighters arrived at 2:08 p.m. and begin basic life support. The handcuffs were removed at 2:13 p.m., as medics performed more advanced life support. Williams was pronounced dead at Lincoln Medical Center.
The IAB investigation notes there was no excessive force used, and the Bronx district attorney’s office also concluded there was no criminality involved the Williams’ death.
An attorney for Williams’ family is claiming otherwise.
“For 10 minutes the officers were indifferent and apathetic to Barrington’s life, and those 10 minutes can be the difference between life and death,” said lawyer Jason Leventhal, who has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
As soon as police put handcuffs on Williams he went into cardiac arrest. The video shows one officer attempt to place Williams’ inhaler to his lips, however, he was entirely unresponsive by this point. He was unconscious, foaming at the mouth, and had urinated on himself as cops attempted to prop him up against the wall.
“I think the officers realized very quickly that they were dealing with a man who was in severe respiratory distress,” Leventhal said. “The video doesn’t show any sense of urgency.”
“I don’t believe he should have died for a MetroCard swipe,” Williams’ mother, Karen Brown, said.
However, that is exactly what happened. For a petty misdemeanor offense that would have landed him with community service as a maximum sentence, Williams paid the ultimate price.
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