Attempted murder charges against Aubrey Williams were dropped on Oct. 7. The dropped charges stemmed from an incident on April 24, 2014, when Williams was shot in the back by a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama (video below).
The Jefferson County District Attorney's office said in a press release: "After an extensive review of all the evidence in this case, the state is unable to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt," notes the Alabama Media Group.
The two-year-old indictment stated that Williams was "presenting a firearm and pointing it" at the officers, Richard Haluska and Daniel Aguirre.
The video shows Williams on his hands and knees while Aguirre shoots him in the back; Williams is not seen pointing a gun in the police video.
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Williams and Devon Brown were originally stopped and questioned about a robbery. Williams was never charged with anything to do with the robbery, but he was charged with the attempted murder of the two officers.
Williams' lawyer, Emory Anthony, said:
When you look at the video and different statements given by police officers it should never have been brought. [T]here was never any evidence that Aubrey Williams pulled a gun or pointed a gun at the police officers. The dismissal is almost two years too late but I'm glad that it has been done.
This man stayed in jail for more than a year and a half on some trumped up charges by these Birmingham police officers. Not all police officers are bad, but when they make a mistake they should own up to it.
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In the past, Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls has said that the use of force by Haluska and Aguirre was reasonable considering the circumstances.
The district attorney's office said that the two officers saw Williams and Brown walking in an alleyway around 2:00 a.m.; Haluska saw a handgun in Brown's back pocket, tried to get it and then:
The situation quickly escalated and Mr. Brown began to wrestle with Officer Haluska. As Mr. Brown continued to resist, Officer Aguirre attempted to subdue him with his Taser.
At this point, Mr. Williams was on the ground. Officer Aguirre approached Mr. Williams in order to handcuff him for his safety. Mr. Williams then raised his right arm from underneath him and Officer Aguirre saw a handgun. Officer Aguirre jumped back and fired two shots.
Officer Aguirre then kicked the firearm away and secured Mr. Williams. Officer Aguirre immediately ran to the dash cam recording of the incident was preserved.
Aguirre was awarded a Combat Cross Medal in May 2015 by the police department for his actions, which included shooting Williams in the back, reported the Alabama Media Group.