Police deny using excessive force in Ferguson suspect arrest

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CLAYTON, Mo. — A spokesman says allegations that St. Louis County police used excessive force when arresting a man accused of shooting two officers in Ferguson are “completely false.”

Defense attorney Jerryl Christmas on Monday suggested police may have roughed up his client, Jeffrey Williams, saying Williams had bruises on his back, shoulders and face and a knot on his head.

Police spokesman Brian Schellman called the lawyer’s assertions false, adding that Williams was seen by a nurse when he was booked into the county jail, standard procedure for all incoming inmates.

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“The nurse released Williams as fit for confinement,” he said.

Williams is accused of shooting the two officers early Thursday outside Ferguson’s police station, which has been the scene of protests since last summer’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Williams, 20, appeared in court Monday, one day after his arrest on charges of felony assault, armed criminal action and a weapons offense. His case was continued until March 31. Christmas did not appear at the brief hearing and said he first spoke with his client late Monday afternoon.

“This wasn’t any type of ambush shooting,” Christmas said in an interview with The Associated Press, countering an earlier description by St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar of the March 12 shooting outside Ferguson police headquarters. “Those officers were shot accidentally.”