Charleston mayor says ‘sad chapter’ has come to an end

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the city will fight to make sure resigned Lt. Shawn Williams is never a police officer again.

Jones reacted Wednesday to Williams’ resignation bringing to a close a controversy that began last year when racially sensitive videos from Williams’ personal computer surfaced as Williams was going through a divorce.

“He has to be certified as a police officer to work as a police officer. So, we’ll work with the state and keep our eye on him and be notified if there’s a hearing,” the mayor said.

Williams decided to resign instead of appealing his termination to a city police board. A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. Williams was placed on leave last year as an internal investigation took place.

“I knew he couldn’t win this case and apparently he finally did too,” Jones said. “I think it’s a sad chapter in our history that’s finally come to an end.”

The videos, which reportedly included Williams’ young daughter being dressed like an officer and dancing to KKK music, were shown to some city council members by the mayor last year. Jones said Wednesday he neither regrets that move nor the decision the next day by a judge to seal the tapes.

“We don’t have to show them in a hearing and hopefully no one will ever see them again unless it’s in his divorce hearing,” Jones said.

Williams was critical of the city in his resignation letter.

“It is clear to me and most of the general public, that I will not be able to resolve my personal problems based upon the way in which the administration has strategically ‘leaked’ and handled my internal investigation,” Williams wrote. “In my sixteen years of service to this department, I have never before witnessed the ‘leaks’ from an internal investigation such as mine. Therefore, I feel that resigning is in the best interest for my family.”

Mayor Jones said the city didn’t leak the tapes but that happened from one of the “many people who were privy to the divorce.”

Lt. Williams was a supervisor and a spokesman many times to the media on various actions taken by police. Jones said he never had heard of any previous racial problems involving Williams. Jones said Wednesday Williams “put up a good front.”

“I want to say this that there are almost 160 police officers who don’t have these (racial) tendencies,” Jones said.

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