Teen in police brutality probe charged with capital murder

Graphic Photo - Full-size image of Ulysses Wilkerson's injuries from 2017 arrest. (Source: CNN)
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DECATUR, AL (WSFA) - A man whose 2017 arrest and hospitalization in Troy sparked public outcry and an investigation that ultimately cleared police of wrongdoing is now facing a capital murder charge on the other side of the state.

Ulysses Wilkerson is one of two suspects in the Feb. 25 homicide of 30-year-old Decatur resident Michael Irvin, Jr. Wilkerson and co-defendant Zachary Williams were arrested and charged on April 4, according to a report by WAFF 48 in Huntsville.

The suspects are being held at the Morgan County Jail.

Wilkerson was 17 when Troy police officers saw him walk from behind a closed downtown business on the night of Dec. 23. After fleeing on foot as the officers got out of their vehicle to investigate, he was apprehended, police said. When he refused to put his hands behind his back and reached for his waistband as if reaching for a weapon, officers used physical force to restrain him.

The teen had to be taken to an area hospital, then to a Birmingham hospital. Photos of his bloodied, swollen face stirred public outrage and claims of police brutality that resulted in an investigation.

A grand jury later determined Troy police acted properly and no charges were filed.