Ferguson police shooting suspect returns to court

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CLAYTON, Mo. — A man accused of shooting two police officers in Ferguson returned to court Tuesday over a claim that St. Louis County police used excessive force during his arrest.

A circuit court judge agreed to defense lawyer Jerryl Christmas’ request to photograph Jeffrey L. Williams in the courtroom. Online court records indicate prosecutors took their own photos at the brief hearing, which came one day after Williams, 20, made his first appearance in court.

Christmas told The Associated Press on Monday that police roughed up his client and described bruises on Williams’ back, shoulders and face and a knot on his head. Police spokesman Brian Schellman called the assertion “completely false” while noting that the suspect was seen by a nurse when he was booked into the county jail, standard procedure for all incoming inmates. He added that Williams did not resist arrest.

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Christmas also suggested that police coerced a statement by Williams in which he reportedly admitted to the shooting but said he wasn’t targeting police. Schellman also rejected that assertion, noting the statement was videotaped.

Williams, shackled at the waist and feet, was led into a jury room Tuesday, where he was photographed, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported. He was then returned to county lock-up.

Christmas said some of the injuries are visible in a police mug shot distributed Sunday, the Post-Dispatch reported. He said red marks can be seen on his client’s throat and cheek.