Violent crime victim seeks justice after suspect gets ‘slap on the wrist’

A woman went into cardiac arrest and nearly died after she was crushed by a vehicle in Minneapolis. The suspect was sentenced to 90 days of electronic home monitoring and two years of probation.

Alayna Braziel and her daughter, Darryanna Williams, talk with Alpha News reporter Liz Collin. (Alpha News)

A horrific scene played out at a Minneapolis hospital in the middle of a summer night in 2021.

“I feel like I am standing in the middle of a war zone in Iraq. There were probably five or six gunshot victims that were brought in. Three of which died,” Alayna Braziel recalled.

“I watched a young kid, probably in his 20s, carry in his sister, slumped over his shoulder because she had overdosed,” she added.

Braziel remembers another woman walking in who’d been stabbed in the head leaving a downtown bar.

“It was just insane. I was on the phone with my friend, and I was like, I cannot believe what I am seeing,” Braziel said.

Braziel is speaking out now because someone tried to kill her daughter, Darryanna Williams, that night in June, she said.

“She hasn’t spent one day in jail,” Williams said.

It all happened barely two days after a U.S. Marshals Service taskforce fatally shot Winston Smith. Smith fired at officers and didn’t comply with commands.

Mayhem in the Uptown area followed for months.

In Williams’ case, Facebook video captured a driver running her and two of her friends over before driving away.

Williams was out with friends at a restaurant in Uptown before it happened.

She explained in detail how it unfolded:

“Once we were in Red Dragon, about 20 minutes after us being there a lady approached us, being the aggressor toward someone that I was with. The bouncers kicked her out. After that we left about 30 minutes to 45 minutes later. When we got outside, they were still out there, still egging the situation on and as we are on our way to our vehicles, a black SUV comes up. It sped past me. It does a U-turn. All I hear is like, ‘Move out of the way.’
Then, as I turn back, it’s actually my girlfriend and her mother. They got hit. I just see them in the air. So, I just ran over there and as I’m trying to lift them up and help them, she reverses on me. My body is literally just folded in half. I can still feel the pipes and everything.
I thought I was going to die. I’m begging in my head, ‘Please get off me, please get off me.’ All I can see is her taillights literally reversing on me.
Others were hurt. Ribs were broken, ligaments were torn. My chest was broken. I’ve still got tire marks on me.”

Williams suffered cardiac arrest and went by ambulance to HCMC while the driver, Clarenda Walton, drove away.

A picture of Williams’ injuries provided to Alpha News.

“Probably about three hours later, three police officers showed up at the hospital,” Braziel recalled.

“I was told that they were unable to make an arrest because they were the only three police officers on duty that night,” she said.

The Fifth Precinct, which used to have at least 10 officers working the street, was down to three that night.

“The officer, you know, he apologized to me, and he said, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened, but we don’t have the manpower to go out and make arrests,’” she recalled him saying.

“It was not until about two weeks after the incident happened that a detective was even assigned to the case. Once it was assigned to a detective, he told me verbatim, ‘I am the only detective in the whole Fifth Precinct. Welcome to the world of defund the police,’” Braziel said.

Braziel said the entire incident was caught on tape by the Red Dragon’s security camera. Due to short staffing and only one detective working the case, he could not obtain the video before it was taped over, Braziel said.

Crime Watch Minneapolis found Walton’s driver’s license had been revoked five times in the last five years.

For this incident she was charged with fifth-degree assault, failure to stop and other violations but was only convicted of gross misdemeanor failure to notify of collision involving death/injury.

Walton received a stay of execution and was sentenced to 90 days of electronic home monitoring and two years of probation by Hennepin County Judge Bev Benson.

Walton did not respond to a request for comment.

“They’ll never have any justice,” Williams’ mom said.

“She basically just got a slap on the wrist. While everybody else suffers,” Williams said.

“It’s been well over a year and it’s affected me tremendously. I have two kids. I’m a young mom, a young, single mom, and they’re younger as well, 12 and seven, and it’s caused me not to be able to be fully active with them anymore. You know, I’ve cried myself to sleep. I still have back pain, just PTSD, hearing cars and stuff like that. I get bad anxiety,” she said.

That night permanently changed how they view Minneapolis and led them to push back against what they call a dangerous narrative.

“You couldn’t catch me over there. I mean, I have no desire to go over there and it’s sad. It’s sad to me. You’re not safe at any point in time. Not in the middle of the day, not at night. So not only do you worry about what could happen to you, but then you worry about cases like this where nobody can respond,” Braziel said.

“Everybody was on board with defunding the police after the wake of George Floyd. But people don’t realize or hear the stories like my daughter’s. Black Lives Matter has been thrown in the spotlight. Well, my daughter is biracial and the person who ran her over was African American. So where is Black Lives Matter now? It doesn’t matter when it’s black on black crime. She literally went into cardiac arrest, full respiratory arrest and they had to bring her back. But none of that matters? I think it’s very important for people to see the stories that are happening. The real stories that are happening on the street. In these areas where people wanted to defund the police,” Braziel said.

Minneapolis police did not respond to a request for comment on the case.


Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.