INKSTER (WXYZ) — “I’m the only person who had that footage that showed clearly what took place that night,” Antonio Williams said about video he took with his drone that showed the moments surrounding an Inkster police officer opening fire on a dog.
The dog named Moose belonged to Brad Brock and the two were out last week Monday around 11:30 pm, walking near Michigan Avenue and Bishop.
Williams was working nearby as security for The Flower Bowl, a marijuana dispensary. And Williams had his drone in the air that he uses to help keep himself safe when he’s working at night.
That’s when Williams witnessed and obtained video of an encounter Brock and his dog had with an officer who was responding to Brock’s 911 call about someone in the area needing assistance.
On the video, Brock can be seen talking with the officer and Moose is sitting nearby. The dog is off-leash as he approaches one man while wagging his tail.
Moose then goes past Brock and begins to approach the officer who quickly pulls his gun as the dog gets closer.
The officer backs up as Moose continues toward him and then he opens fire.
“The video clearly shows the dog was not aggressive,” Williams said. “The officer pulled his weapon and I don’t know how many times he fired because I was busy wondering where the bullets were going.”
Williams describes the dog’s approach to the officer as what you might expect from a friendly dog looking to greet someone new.
Moose died from his injuries.
Police asked Williams to make a statement on the shooting and he did. He said police did not ask him for the video.
But Williams said managers at the marijuana dispensary demanded that he turn the video over to them and not release it to anyone, threatening his job if he did otherwise.
Williams said he decided the right thing to do was to give his video to Moose’s owner.
Inkster police said there is no police video of the incident because the battery on the officer’s body camera died prior to the encounter. There is also no dash camera video from the officer’s vehicle either, according to police.
“What I chose to do with that footage was my right and my choice,” Williams said. “If the dispensary had an issue with it, they voiced it. The consequence was my termination and I’m OK with that. We move forward.”
Williams said he may be out of a job, but he believes he did the right thing and has no regrets about it.
“I believe that he (Moose’s owner) deserved that footage. That was his dog, and that dog was in his life because he lost his leg. I can relate to that loss. I can relate to that man,” Williams said, referring to Brock’s owner who he later learned had lost a leg in a crash five years ago.
Williams, 48, relates his own loss to loved ones passing away while he spent decades in prison for a homicide he committed when he was a teenager.
“When I was in prison. I used to say, it’s not where we live, it’s how we live,” said Williams, who had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Williams was a teenager when he took the life of a man he describes as his mother’s abusive boyfriend.
Williams was released from prison in 2017 after a decision from the United State Supreme Court that allowed for resentencing of juveniles who had been sentenced to mandatory life in prison.
“I think what happened was the result of seeing my mother abused over and over, and then feeling like I was strong enough to do something about it in that moment, not understanding the consequences,” Williams said.
“And in this particular situation, there were people with power who thought they could use their power to silence justice. It just so happened I’m the person that you don’t want to run into a situation like that,” he continued.
Williams also knows a lot about training dogs and the bond people make with a dog. In prison is where he said he trained dogs to be leader dogs for the blind.
“At 7 weeks old, they would give me a puppy,” said Williams, adding that he would bond with the puppies that he would train for a year.
“Zero aggression training,” he said. “So what does that mean? What does that translate into out here? Patience. Kindness. Tolerance.”
In addition to the job he lost, Williams dedicates his time to helping various community outreach organizations and the National Organization of Exonerees.
“He’s my hero,” Brock said. “And if there’s anything I can ever do for him for what he has done for me, I will always have his back.
“He is the reason my dog is getting justice. He is the whole reason. I am so, so angry and upset and hurt that he lost his job because that is wrong.”
Despite losing his job, Williams said he is not upset that he was terminated and has no issues with the dispensary.
“They took me on my character and my integrity,” Williams said about the opportunity to have the job. “I believe they should have continued to trust that character and integrity through this process.
“I believe it was the right thing to do.”
7 Action News reached out to the dispensary, but they declined to comment.