DeKalb County DA announces no charges in shooting death of Matthew Williams

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 11:26 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced Tuesday during a news conference that there will be no charges filed in the officer-involved shooting death of Matthew Zadok Williams.

“We have concluded that there is no criminal culpability in connection with this case. The use of force was justified under Georgia law. As such, no charges will be filed against Sgt. [Devon] Perry or any other responding officers. This case is now closed and will not be presented to a grand jury for prosecution consideration,” said DA Boston.

Family of Williams met outside the courthouse upset over the DA’s announcement.

“My son should be alive. I’m extremely disappointed and actually shocked that there are no charges whatsoever. There’s a problem here,” said Chris Ann Lewis, the mother of Williams.


Charging decision in shooting of Matthew Zadock Williams

Story: DeKalb County District Attorney Boston is announcing charging decision in the officer-involved shooting of Matthew Zadok Williams

Posted by CBS46 on Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Williams, 35, was shot and killed in April 2021. The DeKalb County Police said they encountered Williams when they responded to a report of a man with a knife on a trail in Decatur.

Police claimed that Williams advanced on them and one of the officers shot at him.

Williams then reportedly barricaded himself inside of his home. Police officers on the scene attempted to kick in the door several times.

At some point, Williams opened the door again. At this time, police claimed he lunged at them and one of the officers fired 3 shots.

“I do not believe under the law that there was a crime committed here,” said DA Boston. “Sgt. Perry indicated that he feared Williams was attempting to stab him and his fellow officers with the weapon he had been repeatedly ordered to put down,” she said in a press conference Tuesday.

Williams reportedly closed the door. A SWAT team was called in. They eventually made entry and found Williams deceased.

His family has been demanding justice since his shooting. They claim Williams would not have threatened officers. After viewing body camera footage, they believe he was crouching and not lunging when he was shot.

Family members said Williams was having a mental health crisis. They also claim the officers did not do enough to help Williams after the shooting.

“The decision that DeKalb County made today via the District Attorney Sherry Boston put people more at risk because it further emboldens the police,” said Devin Barrington-Ward, an advocate who’s rallied with the family since Willliams’ death.