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Family of man shot by police suing Sheriff's Office

6:07 PM, May 24, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The family of a Jacksonville man who was killed during a traffic stop intends to sue the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, according to Rufus Pennington of Margol & Pennington, one of the attorneys representing his family.

Pennington said the notice of intent to sue was filed on Wednesday. The attorneys representing Davinian Williams' family held a news conference on Thursday, in which they revealed what their investigation has gleaned thus far.

RELATED: Police-involved shooting leaves family devastated

Williams, who had just gotten a job with JAXPORT, was driving a friend's rental car on the way home from his close friend Taneka Hinton's house in Arlington and was talking to her on the phone just minutes before he was shot seven times by Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer Jeff Edwards, said David Willis of David Willis Law Group, one of the attorneys representing the family.

Hinton said they were just having a casual conversation as Williams was driving westbound on the north access road of the Arlington Expressway. Williams told her he had to stop at the gas station for some chap stick. Then Edwards was behind Williams.

"The end of the conversation was, 'I'm going to call you back, the police are behind me.' I said, 'OK,'" Hinton said.

Willis said they are investigating JSO's claims that Williams had 17.1 grams of powder cocaine in his left sock and 1/2 gram of crack cocaine in his right sock.

"We're still investigating that," Willis said. "There's a lot of discovery. We're waiting for production from JSO with further details about this alleged possession of drugs. Clearly, the officer had no knowledge that he may or may not have had drugs in the car or on his person when he pulled him over."

Surveillance video from a business across the street shows that Williams complied with Officer Edwards, Willis said. That video is currently in the possession of JSO.

"In summary, Mr. Williams had fully complied with the police officer when he turned on his emergency lights. Mr. Williams pulled over properly for a traffic stop. He had no weapon and had committed no apparent crime at the time. Officer Edwards was clearly wrong in this shooting. This is a tragic event that has caused the death of one of our citizens."

Craig Gibbs of the Law Office of Craig Gibbs, another attorney representing Williams' family, said Williams was profiled, but said they will get into that in the criminal case, as this suit is a civil matter.

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