78° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Family of man killed by SMPD asks for police accountability

The friends and family of Malachi Williams are demanding justice and increased police accountability following his death on April 11.

Williams was shot by an officer from the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) in an incident on April 11. Two people called SMPD to report they were being followed near East Hopkins and Cheatham Street by a man holding two knives who matched Williams’ description. Williams later died of his wounds after being taken to a hospital in Kyle.

The family and friends of Williams invited members of the community to San Marcos City Hall for a vigil on April 25 to demand accountability and memorialize Williams.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Malachi Williams’ family members lead the crowd in the chant “Justice for Malachi” outside one of Williams’ favorite locations, the San Marcos Public Library on April 25, 2024.

  • Malachi Williams’ grandfather, Pastor Wayne Miller delivers a speech to the crowd outside of San Marcos City Hall on April 25, 2024.

  • Pastor Wayne Miller attempts to comfort Shanta Miller, Malachi Williams’ mother, as she delivers a speech to the crowd outside the San Marcos Public Library on April 25, 2024.

  • Malachi Williams’ family displays photographs and posters in Williams’ honor outside of San Marcos City Hall on April 25, 2024.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

“We are the community of those who love Malachi,” Darius Todd, the pastor of the San Marcos Abundant Life Church said. “We also are a community that has hope for righteousness, hope for peace and hope for restoration.”

Members of the community described Williams as an intelligent and kind person, noting he was experiencing homelessness at the time.

“[Malachi] was full of life and full of joy,” Todd said. “Malachi didn’t come to me to get life, he came to me to give life.”

According to SMPD Chief Stan Standridge in a video statement, following the shooting the unnamed officer involved was placed on administrative leave, and the Texas Rangers, SMPD’s criminal investigation division and the SMPD Office of Professional Conduct began investigating the incident.

“This incident will be fully investigated, then sent to the Hays County district attorney’s office for review,” Standridge said in the video statement.

Members of the community and Williams’ family expressed their desire for SMPD to release the 911 call, the incident report and body camera footage from the events leading to Williams’ death.

“Tonight I ask Mayor Jane Hughson, the city council members along with City Manager Stephanie Reyes and Chief of Police Stan Standridge to release the body cam [footage] immediately,” Floyd Miller, Williams’ uncle said.

In his statement, Standridge said body camera footage could not be released until criminal investigations and proceedings surrounding the shooting incident concluded.

“It is the policy of the city of San Marcos to promote transparency through the release of body-worn camera footage,” Standridge said in the video statement. “In the instance of camera footage that depicts the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer, this footage is protected from release to the public by Chapter 552 of the Government Code.”

On Tuesday, April 30, San Marcos City Council met in a special session to receive legal advice and give direction to staff on officer-worn body camera footage. The meeting immediately went into executive session with no period for questions or comments from the public.

“I’m still a bit confused,” Councilmember Alyssa Garza said. “[Councilmembers] don’t have individual staff so everything I absorbed I have to go and do my own research to read and understand.”

According to Williams’ family, it took two days for them to be informed of Williams’ death and no one from the family has been able to see the body due to policies of the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“My daughter has not yet been able to see her son,” Wayne Miller, Williams’ grandfather said.

Williams’ family expressed the desire to use what happened to Williams to make a change and try to prevent a similar occurrence from happening to other families.

“Malachi’s life should have not been lived in vain,” Wayne said. “I believe that what has happened now can make a change. We can change the way this world is going.”

According to the statement made by Standridge, the officer involved in Williams’ death has undergone counseling provided by SMPD and should return to work the week of April 29.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star