The family of a teen severely beaten by Troy, Alabama police delivered a statement to the public last week, along with their attorney Benjamin Crump, who is becoming widely known for taking on civil rights cases.
Angela Williams, mother of Ulysses Wilkerson, 17, said she was “shocked” and “horrified” to see her son in the condition he was in after the beating.
“My son, Ulysses Wilkerson, was handcuffed and beaten to unconsciousness by police officers in Troy, Alabama,” Williams explained during the press conference.
“As a mother, I was shocked, horrified and devastated to see my son this way — a victim of police brutality. While I am hopeful that the State Bureau of Investigation will uncover the truth, I still call on the community to take a stand against injustices like this. We will not settle until we know the truth behind the brutal beating of my dear son, and until these police officers are held accountable for their crimes.”
Photos of the victim have been released to the public, one of them showing Wilkerson in a hospital bed, where his sheets were bloody and his left eye is swollen shut.
The boy’s father, Ulysses Wilkerson Jr., said his son’s eye socket was cracked in three places, he had swelling on his brain as well as massive facial swelling.
Williams said Troy police officers assaulted her son while he was in handcuffs but they won’t give her much more information than that. Troy police say they used “reasonable and necessary” force to subdue the teen after he reached for his waistband.
They issued a news release saying the teen was charged with misdemeanor obstruction and resisting arrest. Wilkerson’s father told CNN affiliate WDHN that police dropped charges.
“They had him handcuffed when we got in there. They said he was charged with obstruction of justice,” Wilkerson Jr. told CNN.
“The ambulance came to take him to (University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital). They took the handcuffs off of him and dropped the charges on him.”
Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson told CNN he was unsure if Ulysses still faces charges, CNN reported.
“The information provided by police is ‘vastly different’ from what Ulysses’ parents are alleging,” the prosecutor said.
“He resisted arrest and refused to comply with commands from the officers to place his hands behind his back,” Troy police said in a statement.
“The subject continued to struggle with officers and kept reaching toward his waistband, as if he was attempting to access a weapon; all while repeatedly ignoring officers’ commands to stop resisting and give them his hands…”
“The State Bureau of Investigation says they are diligently working toward a complete and thorough investigation, but Troy Police still owes the community answers and transparency,” said Crump.
“Where is the dash cam footage? Where is the body camera footage? The Ulysses’ family and the community deserve answers.”