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Charlotte Police: Teen Choked Self in Cruiser



CMPD announced Thursday it has video evidence showing how a teenage shoplifting suspect nearly killed herself in the back seat of a police cruiser.

On Dec. 5, police said 18-year-old Tanisha Williams choked herself with a seat belt in the back of a police car after being arrested at the CitiTrends store on Freedom Drive. She was in police custody and was wearing handcuffs.

During a news conference Thursday night, Tanisha Williams' family said she was brain dead.

"I can't even ask her, 'Sis, what was going on? What happened to you?' Ain't nobody can answer my questions. Nobody but God," said Tanisha Williams older sister, Porsha Williams.

The family held the news conference with their attorney because, they said, CMPD hasn't answered their questions for the last three weeks.

"I'm hurting by what happened to her, and it wasn't handled right from the beginning," said Tanisha Williams' grandmother, Darlene Talley.

Police told Eyewitness News the internal investigation is "nearly complete." Both officers involved in the arrest are on full, active duty.

Police confirmed they have video showing what happened. Tanisha Williams' family said they didn't learn that until shortly before the news conference.

"When this first happened, why didn't they tell me they had a film? Why didn't they tell me then?" asked Talley.

Porsha Williams said she needs to see the tape to heal.

"No matter how nasty, how brutal this tape is, by me being her sister, I want to see it," Porsha Williams said.

Porsha Williams said she believes her sister fought with the officers and was injured before getting into the car.

Police said that's not true, and that the officers tried to revive her with an oxygen mask before paramedics arrived.

The attorney representing Tanisha Williams' family hasn't seen the video yet.

Eyewitness News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the department to get the video.


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