Death Of Man In Metro Custody Ruled A Homicide

Man Repeatedly Yelled "I Can't Breathe" While Being Taken Into Custody

Mitch Kelly
October 17, 2019 - 9:03 am

Photo Courtesy: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department


LAS VEGAS, NV (KXNT) - The Clark County Coroner's Office has finalized their investigation into the death of Byron Lee Williams, who died shortly after being arrested by Metro Police. 

Back in September, Metro Police attempted to pull over Williams, who was riding a bike without safety lights. Instead of pulling over, Williams fled the scene.

Once police located and attempted to subdue Williams, Metro body camera footage showed Williams, 50, repeatedly yelling, “I can’t breathe,” after officers handcuffed him.

The body cam footage also shows Williams’ body going limp after officers found drugs, which Williams had dropped to the ground. Williams was then dragged to the patrol car to wait for paramedics. 

At this point, police body cameras were turned off, and didn't come back on again until paramedics arrived 15 minutes later.

The cause of Williams' death was determined to be methamphetamine intoxication, with other significant conditions being hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, pulmonary fibrosis, granulomatous lung disease, and prone restraint.

The manner of his death was homicide. In this context, homicide means that the actions of another person or other people resulted in, or contributed to, the death. It is not a determination of criminal activity or wrongdoing