The NYPD teamed up with Michael K. Williams on a documentary series that would explore what the future of policing might look like — showing what police and the community can accomplish when they work hand-in-hand, sources familiar with the partnership told the exclusive. to DailyMail.com.
Williams, 54, was found unconscious and face down in the living room of his Williamsburg apartment by his cousin Monday afternoon and died of a suspected drug overdose.
Confused police sources described Williams as the “ultimate credible messenger” and an ideal ambassador between police and the community, given his story growing up in Brooklyn’s housing projects and seeing firsthand how family and friends became entangled in the criminal justice system.
The sources added that Williams “cared deeply about him” and wanted nothing more than to bridge the gap between police and community through understanding and meaningful progress.
Sources tell DailyMail.com that the NYPD was working on a documentary featuring Michael K. Williams that was in early development
The documentary series was expected to explore what the future of policing would look like, with the aim of helping police and the community work together. Williams is pictured with an NYPD officer
Williams appeared with his cousin Dominic Dupont in a 2018 VICE documentary titled Raised In The System. His cousin Dominic was sentenced to 25 years in prison for first degree murder at age 19
Sources added that the documentary was in an early stage of development, with a preliminary pitch and action plan, but no footage had been shot yet.
It was also unclear who would own the project, but Williams had a third party who could and would film it and the NYPD was on board.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed on Tuesday that he had met Williams to discuss a partnership, without revealing exactly what it was.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed the news, revealing Tuesday that he had met Williams earlier this year to discuss the partnership.
“I met Michael earlier this year. We had met him and tried to work together to do things with him,” Shea told Good Day New York.
Williams was the perfect candidate for the job, appearing in the 2018 VICE documentary Raised In The System, which examined the juvenile justice system.
Williams, who grew up in the Vanderveer public housing complex in Brooklyn, New York, explained in the documentary how he has seen both family and close friends end up in the criminal justice system from a young age.
He appeared alongside his cousin Dominic Dupont, who at age 19 was sentenced to 25 years in prison for first-degree murder.
Williams was born in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and spent his childhood in the projects surrounded by drugs and violence.
As a young boy he was sexually abused. He told The New York Times that that experience confused him about his own sexuality and caused him to withdraw.
Williams eventually enrolled in the National Black Theater in New York City and began his career as a dancer, scoring parts in Madonna and George Michael music videos.
On the eve of his 25th birthday, in 1991, Williams tried to intervene when a group of robbers jumped one of his friends.
One of the attackers drew a knife and cut him, leaving a long, distinctive scar on the front of his face and neck.
Williams said that changed the trajectory of his career.
“Things changed immediately after that,” Williams told NPR during an interview in 2014.
“The directors didn’t want me to dance alone in the videos anymore. They wanted me to play these thug roles, you know, like – Mike, roll these – roll these dice in this video. Fight this fight in this video. I was like, okay,” he said.
Williams was active in his New York community. In August 2020, he partnered with the NYPD to help the communities and youth hardest hit by the pandemic
Williams was born in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and spent his childhood in the Vanderveer public housing projects (pictured) surrounded by drugs and violence
Williams, best known as the star of The Wire, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment. He can be seen above as Omar Little from The Wire
On Monday, Williams’ cousin Arvance Williams told DailyMail.com that his famous uncle was excited to fly to Los Angeles in less than two weeks to attend the Emmys.
He was nominated for the award for his role in last year’s HBO drama series “Lovecraft Country,” for which he was a favorite to win the award.
“I was just with him. I just bought him some fabric so he can go to the Emmys to put under his blazer. He just got nominated for an Emmy and he’s going to LA, so he was really excited about that,” Arvance Williams told DailyMail.com.
“You know him as the actor, we know him as Uncle Mike. We love him.
‘My uncle was such a sweet person. He played many of the characters as mean and gangster. It was a joke, because he wasn’t like that at all. Hw was a sweetheart. … A very gentle, gentle person. And I’m just looking at what he was doing [on screen] and I’d just laugh, because that’s not him at all.’
Neighbor Tommy Scheahr and janitor Connie Agapie leave flowers and tribute outside Williamsburg apartment building
The sources described Williams as the “ultimate credible messenger” and an ideal ambassador between police and the community, given his story growing up in Brooklyn’s housing projects and seeing firsthand how family and friends became entangled in the criminal justice system.
Williams was best known for his role in ‘The Wire’, which ran from 2002 to 2008. More recently, Williams has received acclaim for his role in last year’s drama ‘Lovecraft Country’, for which he was a favorite to win the award. .
HBO said in a statement following the news of Williams’ death: “We are devastated to learn that Michael K. Williams, a member of the HBO family for over 20 years, has passed away.”
“While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we have known Michael as a dear friend loved by all who had the privilege of working with him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family for this immense loss.”
Williams is survived by an adult son named Elijah.
The star was last linked to actress Tasha Smith, who last shared a photo of herself with Williams late last year.