“There was absolutely zero reason for any of those officers to approach this individual,” Semaj said on Tuesday in Bronx Supreme Court. “They approached him. They detained him. They searched him, and no officer even bothered to come up with a halfway legitimate reason for any of that.”
Police claimed Williams was part of a “disorderly crowd” and disobeyed police orders to remove his hands from his pockets before firing a gun in an incident that injured Officer Kaseem Pennant. “At the time, Adams, (union leader) Pat Lynch, and much of the media completely misrepresented this case as an intentional police shooting, when in fact the gun discharged accidentally and went through the teenager’s leg before hitting the cop,” Kavanagh said in another tweet.
Semaj said in proceedings New York Daily News covered: “While there is no disputing the fact that Mr. Williams had a gun on him that night… He literally does everything you tell your child to do when they’re approached by cops. He literally kept his hands up. He literally tried to record to make sure there was proof. He answered questions he had no obligation to answer.”
The judge called Gjonbalaj’s testimony “absolutely incredible.”
“It was inconsistent with the video. It was inconsistent with his fellow officer’s testimony,” Semaj said. “It was self-serving. It had no value.”
Williams pleaded not guilty after being charged as an adult with criminal possession, and second-degree assault, among other charges related to the weapon and he was released from a juvenile facility after posting $250,000 bond on Jan. 27, 2022. After Semaj’s remarks, Williams’ case will be moved to family court, Daily News reported.
“I just want to say I’m innocent,” the teen told Daily News on Tuesday.
The New York City mayor has been heavily criticized by bail reform activists for his response to the teen rapper’s case. Williams pleaded guilty as a 14-year-old to possessing a gun, Daily News reported.
So when he recently posted bail, Adams said in a statement Fox 5 obtained: “New Yorkers should all be outraged that a repeat offender, accused of shooting at a police officer, is today walking free on bond because judges are precluded from even considering danger to the community, like every other state and our federal courts. It is further proof that our current system is failing us. Today of all days, with the city in mourning over the deaths of Detective First-Grade Jason Rivera and Police Officer Wilbert Mora, we all must come together and agree that changes are needed. We cannot allow those who carry guns to walk free – we can pursue safety and justice at the same time, and we must, for the safety of all of us.”
New York Communities for Change, a nonprofit advocating for social, political, and economic justice, asked the mayor in a tweet on Wednesday if he would apologize for his statement on the case. “Will you call for this police officer to be fired?” the nonprofit asked. “Or when #CopsLie will you support a cop whose testimony, according to the Bronx court judge, ‘was inconsistent with the video,’ ‘self-serving’ and ‘had no value’?”
The organization added: “. @NYCMayor ‘s toxic mischaracterization of cases to publicly undermine #BailReform ‘will reinvigorate a system of mass incarceration of Black & Brown NYers by rolling back reforms that have helped to equalize the administration of justice in NYC.’
“’The safest communities aren’t the ones w/ the highest jail populations. They’re the ones with the best crime prevention programs, safe affordable housing, good jobs, access to mental healthcare & drug treatments.’ We must protect #BailReform.”