Michael K. Williams looked to collaborate with NYPD before his death: commissioner

By , 1010 WINS

Michael K. Williams met with the NYPD earlier this year to team up with the department on community work, Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday, a day after the actor was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment.

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Williams was discovered unresponsive by family on Monday afternoon at his penthouse on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Police are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose, though the investigation is ongoing.

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Appearing on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” on Tuesday morning, Shea called Williams’ death “very sad” and said the 54-year-old was a “tremendous actor” and a “great person.”

“And I say that as someone who spoke to and met Michael earlier this year,” the police commissioner revealed.

“We had met on trying to collaborate on doing things with the police department with him,” Shea said. “He was in this very office that I’m sitting in, and we had conversations.”

Michael K. Williams poses for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021 in Brooklyn
Michael K. Williams poses for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021 in Brooklyn. Photo credit Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for ABA

“And you just look at his prime cut down really like that, it’s really just a tragedy,” the commissioner said.

Shea said it’s “too early” to say if Williams' death could be attributed to fentanyl, a powerful narcotic that has been linked to many overdose deaths in the New York area and nationwide.

“We’ll be working with the medical examiner in terms of cause of death,” the commissioner said. “Right now, there’s nothing suspicious about the death.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea at a press conference this year
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea at a press conference this year. Photo credit Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Williams had been working with a New Jersey charity to smooth the journey for former prison inmates seeking to reenter society, and was working on a documentary on the subject.

He spoke in an Associated Press story in 2020 of his rough time growing up, and said he had struggled with drug addiction, which he had spoken frankly about in interviews in recent years.

Williams was best known for his roles as Omar Little on “The Wire” and as Chalky White on “Boardwalk Empire.” He is up for an Emmy for his role in HBO's “Lovecraft Country.” A win at the Sept. 19 ceremony would be his first in four nominations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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