CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – One day after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released body camera video of a Charlotte man’s arrest before he died in police custody, Mecklenburg EMS Agency, MEDIC, is now telling its side of the story.
CMPD says it took 19 minutes from when they requested MEDIC through dispatch and when MEDIC arrived, but MEDIC says it only took seven minutes and six seconds because, in the first call from CMPD, MEDIC says it wasn’t evident that a patient needed medical care.
“This is the police; show yourself,” said CMPD on the body camera video from June 13, 2022.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrived shortly after they got a 911 call from a woman hiding in her bedroom closet.
“Do you think somebody is trying to get into your home?” asked the dispatcher.
“I don’t know. Somebody, I heard somebody screaming, and then I heard shots outside,” said the caller.
“How many shots did you hear, ma’am?” asked the dispatcher.
“I don’t know, about three,” said the caller.
Police say they found the suspect, Jovontay Williams, who was ‘behaving erratically’ and ‘exhibiting stress and delirium.’
“Alright, hands are clear,” said one officer.
“I don’t see a weapon,” said another officer.
“I see both hands, nothing in ’em,” said an officer.
“He’s reaching for the doorknob,” said an officer on the body camera video.
Immediately after that, an officer rushes to the porch to detain Williams.
CMPD says three minutes went by from when they found Williams on the back porch and requested MEDIC through dispatch to help Williams.
But why did it take MEDIC 19 minutes to get there?
One day after the release of the body camera footage on Thursday, MEDIC is telling its side of the story.
The EMS agency says the original call from CMPD was that “someone was being held at gunpoint” and requests a “medical response.” MEDIC says that is “not confirmation of a patient on scene” and that CMPD advised “staging for safety.”
MEDIC says when it’s not evident that a patient needs medical care, they classify this as a “first responder only” response meaning Charlotte Fire is called out.
“This is abuse. I’m about to die, bro. I swear to God. I’m about to die. I feel light-headed,” said Williams.
Firefighters arrived and then called out MEDIC.
MEDIC says it took them 7 minutes and 6 seconds from when Charlotte Fire called them for a “non-emergency response” to get on the scene.
CMPD says Williams was breathing and had a pulse the entire duration first responders were on scene and that he had no obvious physical injuries.
He died seven hours after he was taken to the hospital.
CMPD says the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation looked into the case and that the District Attorney found “no evidence of criminal violations” against CMPD.
Police also say their own CMPD Internal Affairs found “no policy violations.”