TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — In light of the recent incidents of police brutality in Baltimore and Ferguson, Tuscaloosa Police are taking extra precautions to be transparent with the investigation of a man who died in their custody.
Tuesday, Tuscaloosa PD filed court documents to make the 911 calls from the night Anthony Ware died public.
Through the weekend there was clear indication that Anthony Ware was a man who was far from perfect; in fact he had quite a lengthy criminal record, but the question many are still wondering is despite that, was it worth him losing his life, or was his death truly a health complication from pepper spray.
On Friday night, residents from the Crescent East neighborhood were angry and upset as officers stood guard outside of the DCH Regional Medical Center, where Anthony Ware was pronounced dead after dying in police custody after being pepper sprayed.
But exactly who was Anthony Ware? Some described him as a funny and nice guy.
“I mean to me, he was a silly dude, he’d speak, I’d speak you know, he was just a cool dude,” said one friend.
“I mean he loved to play, he kept a smile on your face,” said Martina Childs, a friend of Anthony Ware.
However, Ware had several run-ins with police citing charges of robbery, fire arm possession, driving without a license, eluding police and in September of 2014, he was arrested for allegedly choking and raping his girlfriend.
“I mean, he’s no saint, but who is,” said Childs. “I mean everybody’s been in trouble, but I mean he was a good person, he never did anything wrong to me.”
Some said despite Ware’s troubled past, that’s no reason for him to die. On Anthony Ware’s Facebook page about a week before his death, he posted a status that said, “Yesterday I was pronounced dead, so today I am resurrected as Makaveli the don….. I’ll be damn if my soul rest in prison because i ain’t going back.”
Coincidence or insight? That’s the thin line that residents have to live by until police video footage and autopsy results of how Ware died are released, but they said they have a hard time believing it was just because of pepper spray.
“You know he had the build where he could take pepper spray as if it was breath spray or something,” said one resident.
“Something obviously went wrong,” said Childs.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News