Body cam videos released from arrest of decorated AWOL Army Reservist

grand prairieNewly released body cam videos obtained exclusively by CBS News Texas shed more light on the controversial arrest of a decorated US Army reservist in Grand Prairie. 

It's a story we first told you about involving Shantaya Williams and the aggressive tactics used by the military and police which have raised questions about whether race played a role.

Armored vehicles and tactical officers converge on a home during the early morning hours in the middle of a Grand Prairie neighborhood. 

A SWAT team comprised of Grand Prairie Police and federal marshals broke down the door of a home, not looking for a violent offender, but rather a 42-year-old mother of six who says she was nursing her toddler at the time. 

"I'm still emotionally numb and still trying to gather it," said Williams. "I don't even know what to say or how to feel. I feel like as a mother I failed my children."

Sergeant First Class Shantaya Williams' alleged crime, failing to accept a transfer in the US Army Reserves from her position in human resources in Texas to a similar post in Virginia 

"I've actually completed these packets on other soldiers, not one time have they had the police kicking their door," Williams said.

Willams was arrested and booked into the Kaufman County Jail where she stayed for three weeks. She was released in December 2022, days after our first news story about her arrest. 

The body cam videos, released for the first time, reveal what her attorney says was something he's never seen from years of representing AWOL soldiers and even deserters.

"She was medically incapacitated at home, in quarters, breast-feeding her baby when US Marshals and local police smoke grenaded her house, railroaded down her door and flash grenaded her property like it was a raid on a drug lord," said Sean Timmons, Williams' attorney.

Timmons says his client had medical documents related to pregnancy and PTSD which should have prevented the transfer. 

"I have had plenty of clients who are different ethnic backgrounds, and males who are getting far better treatment for far worse misconduct," Timmons said.

Months later, Williams remains in a state of partial detention at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, only allowed to go home on weekends and deemed a flight risk. 

"If you check my record right now," Williams said, "I probably have a traffic ticket for speeding."

Her attorneys say military prosecutors have backed out of two plea agreements that Williams says she reluctantly agreed to and now want to strip the 24-year veteran, who served in Iraq, of retirement benefits and be dishonorably discharged. 

"Under severe mental, emotional and financial duress I took what I thought would free me from this noose I have around my neck," said Williams.

"They are treating her as if she's a violent criminal," Timmons said. "It's just unbelievable."

"Never would have thought that the military would be those people that would sit and point guns at my children's head," said Williams. "I was a mother who went to war."

We reached out to the army for a comment, and they say they will have a response by the end of Thursday. 

Previously, they have told us that they are treating Williams no differently than any other soldier under the same circumstances. 

More from CBS News

J.D. Miles


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