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Family of late WMU football player hires George Floyd, Breonna Taylor lawyer

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The family of a former Western Michigan football player, who was shot and killed by a security guard at an Indiana hospital, has hired the civil-rights attorney who also is representing the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Attorney Ben Crump recently announce he is taking the case for Jamal Williams' family.

"Jamal Williams was in an environment that was supposed to protect him as he received treatment," Crump said in a statement on his Twitter page. "Instead, he was shot in the face and killed by a security guard. We demand full transparency and accountability."

Crump used the hashtag, "JusticeForJamal."

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 16, Williams was a patient at The Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, when security was called following a reported scuffle between Williams and a nurse. 

According to police reports, as told to the Times of Northwest Indiana, one security guard then got into a physical altercation with Williams, when another security guard opened fire.

Killed in the gunfire were Williams and the other security guard, Ryan Askew, 59, of Crown Point, Indiana.

Former WMU football player Jamal Williams.

Initial reports from the police were that Williams had taken the security guard's gun and shot him, before being killed by the other security guard. Those accounts were retracted, but have led to skepticism from Williams' family whether the most recent account is, indeed, accurate.

Police described Williams as a "psychiatric" patient.

A Change.org petition, demanding second-degree murder charges for the security guard who killed Williams and Askew as well as accountability, has received more than 20,000 signatures. The petition attributed Williams' declining mental state to the racial strife rocking the nation in recent weeks.

Crump, with five offices across the country, has taken on many of the cases involving alleged police brutality.

Williams, 22, a Chicago native, played one season at Western Michigan, 2019, and saw action in nine games. He didn't play the previous two seasons after transferring from College of DuPage. Williams, 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, was a three-time all-league selection in high school in Illinois, and had 31 tackles and 6.5 sacks at College of DuPage.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984