The family at the center of a state investigation into the Troy Police Department's alleged police brutality of their 17-year-old relative has hired legal counsel and is preparing to speak publicly.
The boy, Ulysses KeAndre Wilkerson, had not been identified by law enforcement, but his family chose to release his name Thursday in a statement announcing their hiring of attorneys.
Wilkerson's mother, Angela Williams, released a statement at St. Paul's AME Church in Brundidge on Friday.
Attorneys with Ben Crump Law, as well as Buntin, Etheredge & Fowler issued a joint statement:
“We will do everything in our power to seek justice for Ulysses Wilkerson, an African-American teenager who was brutally beaten at the hands of police in Troy, Alabama, on the night of Dec. 23. We have been in communications with the state bureau of investigations, which has shared that they are diligently working toward answers for the community, the state and our country as they complete a thorough investigation. The family is adamant about the community staying engaged to help seek for justice for their 17-year-old son. This is not just a matter of black and white, it is a matter of humanity.”
According to police, Troy officers saw the teen walk from behind a closed downtown business just before midnight on Saturday. Wilkerson allegedly fled on foot as the officers got out of their vehicle, then refused to put his hands behind his back when was apprehended.
Officers further stated he struggled and reached for his waistband as if reaching for a weapon. That prompted them to use physical force to restrain him.
Wilkerson was taken to an area hospital, then transported to a Birmingham hospital. According to CNN, Wilkerson's father said his son had brain swelling and a cracked eye socket.
The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the allegations at the Troy Police Department's request. That investigation is still active.
In a separate news conference, called for Friday at 4 p.m., the Pike County branch of the NAACP says it will call for an "immediate and comprehensive review of the City of Troy Police Department’s policies, procedures, practices and conduct."
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