The attorney for Jeffrey Williams, the 20-year-old suspect accused of shooting 2 officers in Ferguson, MO., is accusing cops of beating his client to coerce a confession out of him.
Police took Williams into custody on Saturday. Between the time of Williams's arrest and the press conference held less than 24 hours later, police had obtained a quick confession and the .40 caliber handgun that Williams allegedly used in the police shootings.
But Williams's attorney said police beat the crap out of his client to "coerce" him into confessing to a crime he did not commit.
"He's scared. You know, this has been pretty traumatic for him," said attorney Jerryl Christmas on Monday.
"One thing that is clear is that he has a large amount of bruising on his body that I noticed that I'm very concerned about. It appears that whatever statements he made, he was without the advice of counsel, and when I look at the bruising, it's hard for me assess if these were voluntary statements that he made."
St. Louis County officials strenuously denied beating Williams.
"With regard to the allegations that Jeffrey Williams was 'beaten' by police, the St. Louis County Police Department calls these allegations completely false," Sgt. Brian Schellman said in a statement. "Immediately following the arrest, arresting officers transported Williams to St. Louis County Police Headquarters where he was interviewed by Crimes Against Persons Detectives. This entire interview was video and audio recorded." Source
Schellman offered no explanation for the bruises on Williams' body.
According to The Innocence Project, false confessions made under duress are not all that uncommon.
"More than 1 out of 4 people wrongfully convicted but later exonerated by DNA evidence made a false confession."
More from Sandrarose.com: