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Jacksonville Cop Kills Unarmed Drug Suspect

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #734)
Consequences of Prohibition

A Jacksonville, Florida, police officer shot and killed an unarmed drug suspect during a traffic stop early last Wednesday morning when the man reached down inside his car. Davinian Darnell Williams, 36, becomes the 28th person to die in domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Davinian Darnell Williams (JCSO)
According to Jacksonville Police Chief Tom Hackney, Officer Jeff Edwards pulled over Williams for "driving suspiciously in a[n]… area known for drug activity." Williams tried to evade Edwards by making sudden turns and running stop signs.

When Williams finally stopped, the chief said, he refused commands to show his hands and was moving around inside the vehicle. Officer Edwards moved from one side of the car to the other to get a better view of what Williams was doing.

"At that time, the suspect made a sudden motion, reaching down," Hackney said.

Edwards then opened fire, shooting seven times through a side window and hitting Williams with six of the shots. Williams died at the scene.

Police found 17 grams of powder cocaine in one of Williams' socks and less than a gram of crack cocaine in the other. There was no weapon on Williams or in the car.

Williams had a criminal record dating back to 1992, including possession of marijuana, sale and possession of cocaine, resisting arrest, and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Officer Edwards has been placed on administrative leave while the State's Attorney's Office investigates.

Williams' killing was the seventh shooting by Jacksonville police this year and the fourth fatal one. In 2010 and 2011, Jacksonville police shot eight people each year, and in both years, four of them died.

"These traffic stops are filled with inherent dangers," Hackney said.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


joebanana (not verified)

Yeah, for the innocent people who are murdered by these thugs. And for some reason it's always "justified". It has gotten to the point where the cops are more dangerous than the criminals. Cops killing unarmed people is an everyday occurrence. The "war on drugs" is a war on the American people, and an excuse for murder.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 7:39am Permalink
Carmen Brown (not verified)

The KKK and neo-Nazi's are running the war on drugs.

The evidence for this is overwhelming. The number of blacks and Latino's killed and imprisoned shows the truth. And the killings by police are always justified homicide. Duh, the KKK and neo-Nazi's live to kill black people. And they hate liberal Jews who are secretly and openly behind legalization. See, it's all coming together. 

Ok, now to reality. The KKK and neo-Nazi's are not running the war on drugs. It's only as if they were. 

In today's drug war, would there be any real difference if the KKK was in charge? Look at the prison population and know that white supremacists rejoice at the war on drugs. They love the rise in prison population. They love mandatory minimums. They love love love putting black people behind bars and the war on drugs is the number one way to do it. 

The war. The death. Should I put a link to the KKK website so drug war supporters can get more information on how they can help? 

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 3:03pm Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

The demonization of drug  suspects has taken hold in the American psyche in large part because the media never investigates these cases, doesn't care about the victims and only report what the police version of events are. The media needs to be called out on their callous coverage.  Ever notice, that the police never seem to kill anyone then suspect of drug activity who has a lawyer on retainer? They go after the most vulnerable and powerless segment of our society with impunity, while those in gated communities are left free to indulge in their own vices.


Another factor is that media receives millions from the ads produced by the Partnership-for-a-Drug-Free-American. Where is Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson when you need someone to point out these travesties? There are intimidated by the thought of representing someone involved in the drug trade. Their opposition to the racial disparity offers no policy solutions even though they are well aware of the injustice our justice system has demonstrated since Nixon declared the Drug War 40 years ago.  

Sat, 05/19/2012 - 8:15pm Permalink

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