Civil trial ends for Knoxville officer involved in 2019 deadly shooting

Officer Dylan Williams was involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of Channara Pheap.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville police officer was found not at fault after a man died from an officer-involved shooting in 2019.

Officer Dylan Williams was investigating a hit-and-run incident when he found the suspect, Channara Pheap, at the Tillery Apartments.

During the arrest, Pheap grabbed Williams’ taser and shot him with it. Dashcam footage showed them struggling on the ground which led to Williams shooting Pheap in the side.

Knox County Attorney General Charme Allen cleared Williams of any wrongdoing before Pheap’s family sued Williams for using excessive force.

A jury determined Williams was not at fault for Pheap’s death.

Chief Paul Noel released a statement after the jury shared their decision.

“The circumstances that led to Channara Pheap’s death in August 2019 are tragic, and I extend my deepest sympathies to everyone who was impacted or continues to be impacted by his death, especially Channara’s family.

This incident has also weighed heavily on our department for the past four years, most significantly on Officer Williams. As I sat through two days of the civil trial this week in Greenville, I saw firsthand the emotional toll this case has taken on Officer Williams. Despite that, Officer Williams has remained committed to the selfless service of his community.

In addition to the incident being thoroughly vetted by our Internal Affairs Unit for any policy violations and District Attorney General Allen for criminal wrongdoing, it has now been reviewed by a jury in civil federal court. The conclusion reached by that jury supported what we believed in 2019 and believe now – the use of force was reasonable given the exceptional position that Officer Williams was put in.

Our department and Dylan are glad to have this behind us. I am proud of how Dylan has carried himself and the support the members of our department has shown him since this incident occurred. Since it happened, despite the immense weight he has carried, Dylan has made himself an indispensable member of the Investigations Bureau. I have no doubt that he will continue to be a valuable member of our team and a dedicated community servant.”

Chief Paul Noel - Knoxville Police Department

After the shooting, Williams was placed on administrative leave during KPD’s internal investigation and was cleared by the department.