Police: Photos show teen had machete when killed by officers


ATLANTA,None - The Atlanta chapter of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network has called for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to step in and investigate the police shooting that left a 15-year-old dead.

Meanwhile, Channel 2 Action News reporter Kerry Kavanaugh has obtained new evidence photos that police say indicate the officers were defending themselves appropriately.

On Friday, Gwinnett County Police said photos and other evidence support their officer’s claims and they won't be requesting any outside assistance.

Police showed us a photo of the machete, measuring more than 2 feet long, they said a Buford teen was carrying when he stormed officers last week.

Officers said, when they arrived at the home on Windward Gate Lane on Dec. 19,
a situation involving 15-year-old Dawntree Williams had reached its tipping point.

His therapist was on the phone with 911.

His grandmother said Dawntree suffered from numerous mental health illnesses and had exploded during in-home counseling.

Police said Dawntree charged officers with machete in hand.  The officers fired 12 rounds, hitting the teen five times.

"And I'm not trying to say that I don't understand officer's endangerment. They have to protect themselves. But, again, when do you use non-lethal force?” said founder of the Atlanta chapter of NAN Marcus Coleman.

Coleman said that’s something he wants the GBI to ask as well. NAN wants an outside group to investigate how officers handled the situation start to finish.

"The call was dispatched wrongly. The call was dispatched as a domestic dispute,” Coleman said.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said it doesn't matter what kind of call officers are responding to once they encounter a deadly threat.

“We don't train them to use Tasers, bean bag rounds, hand-to-hand combat, none of that comes into play if somebody has a deadly weapon," he told Kavanaugh.

Dawntree's grandmother, Anita Harris, said last week she believed he dropped the machete before approaching the officers. But police said crime scene photos show it near the end of the driveway, where Dawntree fell after he was shot.

A GBI spokesperson sent Channel 2 an email saying Georgia law requires that an agency requests their help before they step in.

At this point, that’s not something Gwinnett County Police are seeking.