law enforcement shooting U.S. citizens is seeming to become a common practice in the America. The situation has now hit South Carolina. The family of Waltki Williams is suing a South Carolina police department. Williams, 35, was shot in the back 17 times while laying down on the ground. The lawsuit was filed last week. It states that the deceased didn’t have a weapon on him when a Sumter police officer shot at him at least 24 times. State law officials are currently investigating the fatality. No video footage of shooting has been released.

Fatal attraction

The whole scenario started when police responded to a domestic violence dispute that escalated between Williams and his girlfriend. It has been reported by law enforcement that this story originated at Sumter mall. The girlfriend, who has not been named, was afraid to leave the mall after Williams pointed a gun at her in her car on December 10, 2016. Police attempted to arrest the suspect but he ran so a high-speed chase began.

The chase became short-lived when Williams wrecked the SUV he was driving a few feet down the road. In the lawsuit, filed by his sister, it states that the Man threw an unknown object out of the window and started to run. Multiple officers proceeded to capture him and restrained him to the ground.

They took a few steps back and that’s when at least three of the officer allegedly fired over a dozen shots.

Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said in a statement, “This incident shows the devastating, far-reaching effects of domestic violence.”

Responses to the tragedy

The Sumter Police Department states that they have yet to see the lawsuit.

Williams’ autopsy results show that the man was shot 19 times, 17 of those were in his back. The three officers who are said to have opened fire on the gunman have been placed on leave while the investigation continues to unfold.

Lawyer C. Carter Elliott has stated that even though Williams had a gun at some point during the chase, “we take the position that when he was lying on the ground and they shot him in the back he was not a threat." The Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina (SLED) mentioned that there is video footage of what happened.

They will be reviewing it while they are still considering the shooting.

Carter Elliot said, "It ended with a ton of shots, a lot of them in his back. It doesn't make sense to me. There's two eyewitnesses that saw it and we are pushing to get the officers' bodycam video that recorded what happened." Elliott also commented that he has continuously requested access to the video now needs the court’s subpoena to have it in his client’s suit.

The lawsuit states, "Sumter Police Department officers had the obligation and opportunity to refrain from utilizing inappropriate and unnecessary deadly force. However, the officers in question made the conscious decision to use inappropriate and unnecessary force."

Special Agent Thom Berry says, “The SLED investigation is ongoing. We have not concluded our work on the matter.”