Rally calls for justice after man killed during altercation in Ogden

Posted at 10:25 PM, Nov 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-12 00:25:29-05

OGDEN, Utah -- On October 28, a fight broke out at Lester Park in Ogden and a man died.

This Saturday, things quickly escalated once again, this time at a rally for that same man, William Torrence.

At the spot where he died, the Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter gathered to demand justice for Torrence. They said Torrence died as a result of racism, but a man who came to the rally with signs of his own insisted Torrence's death was a result of road rage, not race issues.

“This is something that shouldn’t have happened to him," said Curressia Walton of the incident.

Walton was involved in the deadly fight.

Ogden police said the incident on October 28 began when a car stopped to allow pedestrians to use a crosswalk on 24th street at Lester Park. A vehicle behind the car became impatient and tried to pass, almost hitting those crossing. Bystanders at a Halloween party across the street then threw something at the car as it drove off.

Walton, her son's father, and Torrence came back to the scene and a fight subsequently broke out between the three and people at the party.

“I’ve been to that place plenty of times. I’ve eaten there, I’ve hung out there, but then when you get a little liquor in your system everything changes. We’re [racial slur] and we’re not fit,” Walton said.

“Were these people drunks? No. Had they been drinking that night? No. The particular place that they were at has a policy of no drugs or alcohol," said Edmund Fretz, a witness of the incident.

Fretz said that night, he saw all three people had weapons. Walton disputes this and said she was the only one carrying a bat, which she claims was meant to protect herself.

"I was pushed from behind and William and my son’s father was defending me I feel like because I was attacked," Walton said.

Torrence died that night. Walton said he leaves behind a significant other and a daughter due in February. She is staying with his family in Mississippi currently.

“William was a great man," Walton said. "Everybody that knew him, he was like a big teddy bear. All he did was work and support everybody. I just want justice. Anybody that was involved just be honest. Come forward and tell the truth.”

The Ogden police investigation is ongoing. They are working to determine if they can conclusively call the incident a homicide. Once their work is done, it will be up to the Weber County Attorney’s Office to decide if they will prosecute the case as a hate crime.