Lawyer for Man Arrested in Ferguson Police Shooting says Suspect is Recanting his Confession; Claims he Was Beaten by Police


The suspect charged with shooting two police officers during a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo., last week is now recanting a confession that he was the gunman, his lawyer told Yahoo News on Tuesday.

“He told me that he never fired a weapon,” said Jerryl T. Christmas, attorney for Jeffrey Williams.

Christmas said Williams, 20, was scared and in a “tremendous amount of pain,” having allegedly been pistol-whipped before being questioned by detectives.

“I think under those circumstances he would have said anything,” Christmas said. “Anytime someone is questioned without counsel and then I see that kind of bruising, then I’m suspicious about any statements that he may have voluntarily given.”

The lawyer said the injuries can be seen in the jail mug shot of his client.

“He had bruising … you see the redness on the right side of his face,” Christmas said. “I don’t see how they are denying it, it’s right there on their own mug shot.”

St. Louis County police have denied the abuse allegations for two days. On Tuesday, a department spokesman again called the accusations “completely false” without offering any potential explanation for apparent marks in Williams’ booking photograph.

Sgt. Brian Schellman said Williams was immediately transported to police headquarters and interviewed by detectives, which was recorded on video and audio. At the jail, he said, a nurse evaluated Williams as part of the intake process.

“The nurse released Williams as fit for confinement and he was subsequently turned over by detectives to the custody of Justice Services,” Sgt. Schellman said.

But Christmas and a cousin of the suspect said Williams has been in the jail’s infirmary since arriving there Sunday.

Terrain Williams told Yahoo News by email that he spoke to his cousin on the phone Tuesday morning.

“Hell [no, he’s] not doing OK,” Terrain Williams said. “They whipped his ass.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Christmas got a court order to have Williams escorted to a jury room so that one of his investigators could photograph the alleged injuries. The prosecution was granted the same access to take similar photos.

Christmas said officers struck Williams in the face, neck, back and head while arresting him at his girlfriend’s house late Saturday.

“He has a knot on the back of his head where he says they hit him with the butt of a pistol,” Christmas said. “He doesn’t deserve that.”

Terrain Williams said officers swooped in on his cousin when he stepped outside his girlfriend’s home to go to her car.

Yahoo News asked police for the address where Williams was arrested and the names of any witnesses.

“Will not release due to it being an active investigation,” Sgt. Schellman replied by email.

Nor would he disclose the number of officers who took part in the capture, but the sergeant said, “Mr. Williams did not resist arrest.” The officers involved were not wearing body cameras to video the arrest, he said.

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SOURCE: Jason Sickles, Yahoo

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