The woman who was in the vehicle with a Black man who was shot and killed by an Indiana State Police (ISP) Trooper in Jeffersonville earlier this year is disputing the agency’s investigation of the incident.
Malcolm Williams, 27, was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by ISP Trooper Clay Boley for not having functioning tail lights in the early morning of April 29. The incident ended with Williams being shot six times by Boley, with four of those shots entering his back. Boley claimed Williams shot first, but there was no video evidence since neither Boley nor his vehicle were equipped with cameras. Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull concluded that the shooting was justified, and that Boley would face no criminal charges. But the driver of Williams’ vehicle – Antoinette Webb, who was pregnant with Williams’ child at the time of his death – takes issue with the characterization of the events leading up to the shooting.
She said Williams did have a gun in his possession with two clips, one of which was found by Boley during a frisk prior to the shooting. After the clip was found, the report states Boley ordered Williams back to the passenger seat of the car “due to safety concerns.”
ISP declined to comment on Webb’s claims.
Webb believes that the discovery of a clip should’ve prompted Boley to search the car, rather than letting Williams re-enter.
“You were supposed to tell Malcolm to put his hands behind his back, handcuff him and escort him to your car, and then ask me to get out my car,” Webb said. “I’m from Chicago, Illinois, and that’s how they do it. They’re not going to let this man get back in the car.”
The summary goes on by stating that Boley reported seeing a “blank stare” on Williams’ face, and began to “suspect that Williams was about to take some sort of unknown action.”
At that point, Williams is said to have “quickly” retrieved his handgun and pointed it at Boley before firing three rounds. The report states that Boley managed to grab the handgun with both of his hands and “wedge” it between his arms and torso, then was able to free a hand to unholster his gun and return fire.
According to Webb, there was no such scuffle. She said Williams did retrieve his gun, but he was holding it by the end to hand it over to Boley. She also states that she only heard six shots, not the nine reported in the summary.
“He never held the gun to where it indicated that he was going to shoot it,” Webb said. “He picked it up from a clip. He didn’t pick it up as if he was ending his life. No. He picked that [expletive] up at that clip and handed it out the window when that man shot him, because he was scared. He was scared, and I believe that’s why he shot him.”
Tara Bryant, Williams’ mother, also believes Boley fired out of fear. She points to the language used in the investigation report as evidence of bias, specifically the portion that mentions Williams’ “blank stare” and the feeling that he was about to escalate the situation.
“That’s racial profiling,” Bryant said. “You don’t know Malcolm Williams, so to not know Malcolm Williams, how could you see something in his eyes?”
Williams’ younger brother, Tyler Williams, had led the charge for justice for his brother until an accidental shooting took his life on June 11. Bryant has lost three sons to gun violence.
She and Webb are now usually the ones on the front lines of protests in Jeffersonville. They’re there calling for justice for Williams, as well as justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by three plain-clothes Louisville Metro Police Department officers during a no-knock raid on March 13.
“I want everybody to know that when I protest for Black Lives Matter, I’m protesting right now because my son is a part of that,” Bryant said. “I do not have a racist bone in my body. I have biracial grandbabies. I have Mexican friends. I’m getting bashed on social media that all lives should matter. All lives do matter to me, but right now, my child is the issue and other Black people that are being affected by what the police is doing to our people.”
ISP Trooper Boley is 23, and had just graduated from the ISP Academy in December 2019. Neither Bryant nor Webb believe he will ever serve time in jail for killing Williams.
What they do want, however, is his termination. They say that preventing him from being a trooper could keep another family from having to go through what they have since that night in April.
“I’ve been quiet since this day has come, ever since that man got killed in my car,” Webb said. “I never say anything. I don’t even talk to people. I don’t react to nobody’s stuff, but I’m just sick and tired. I’m tired of crying at night. I’m tired of scrolling, looking for stuff. I’m tired of all that. I just want all that to go away and stop. That’s all. And I don’t want him to be a police officer no more. I just really don’t want him to be that, because he’s not a good cop.”