The grandson of civil rights leader Hosea Williams is questioning his recent arrest after a high-speed chase. He claims that state troopers targeted him and his fiancée because they participated in a Black Lives Matter protest.
“This is what’s about to happen man,” said Corporal A. Gray with the Georgia State Patrol on a video recorded on August 6, 2020.
“You told someone to pull in front me so, I can’t pull off?” asked Andre Williams, the driver he stopped who happens to be Hosea Williams grandson.
“I’m sorry,” said Cpl. Gray.
“Yeah, I’m not about to play with you today bro, I’m really not,” responded Williams.
The traffic stop for speeding and a seat belt violation quickly escalated.
“I’m really not,” said Williams.
“Hey, hey, do I look like DeKalb County or Atlanta Police Department?” Cpl. Gray asked.
“I don’t care bro, you just told me. You’re not about to shoot me today. What your hand on your gun for?” asked Williams.
“Cause you have a gun in the car,” Cpl. Gray answered.
“Man, so what?” Williams asked.
“Now get out of the car now,” said Cpl. Gray.
“No,” Williams answered.
Williams' fiancée Amber Jackson sat in the front passenger seat and used her iPhone to record the pursuit that spanned 12 miles on I-20 and reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.
“I had to get away and I didn’t want to die. You know that’s all I was thinking survive, survive,” Williams said in an interview.
Cpl. Gray pulled Williams over on I-20 near Candler Road in DeKalb County.
“I said I’m not getting out of the car,” said Williams earlier on the video.
“Yes, you do. I’m telling you to get out of the car,” said Cpl. Gray.
“I’m not getting out of the car,” responded Williams.
“Okay, then step out of the car,” Cpl. Gray instructed.
“No, you can walk over here if you have something to say to me,” Williams responded.
“He didn’t say what was going on. He just told me to get out of the car and with everything going on right now, I don’t understand why someone would approach a situation like that,” Williams said in an interview.
Minutes later in the video, Cpl. Gray walked over to the passenger side of the vehicle where he explained why he stopped him.
“Hey, I’m Corporal Gray with the Georgia State Patrol. The reason for the stop today was speeding, 82 in a 65 and you don’t have your seatbelt on, okay? You didn’t have it on when you were riding beside me,” said Cpl. Gray.
“No, I just don’t wear it over my shoulder,” said Williams.
“Okay then you’re wearing it improperly. If I could have your driver’s license please,” said Cpl. Gray.
“I don’t have my driver’s license on me,” Williams told him.
“Okay then I’m going to need your name and date of birth please.”
Williams gave that information to him.
As Cpl. Gray waited for backup to arrive, Williams and his fiancée told him about another recent encounter with law enforcement.
“I got an open case with APD. You’re not even supposed to be talking to me. I’m not supposed to be dealing with you because she just got assaulted by an officer so, if you think you’re fixin' to assault me or her, you’re messed up,” Williams said in the video.
Williams was talking about an Atlanta Police officer slamming Jackson to the pavement, breaking her clavicle on May 29, 2020 during the George Floyd protests in Atlanta.
“This is where my surgery was,” said Jackson showing Channel 2′s Michael Seiden her scar. “Very traumatizing and eye-opening what’s happening to the black community,” said Jackson.
“We’ve had a lot of notoriety as far as the police go. I almost feel as if I’m being targeted,” said Williams.
Channel 2 took their allegations to Georgia State Patrol, but a spokesperson declined to comment, citing the ongoing criminal case. But in an incident report, investigators described Williams during the pursuit as “extremely reckless” accusing him of “running red lights” and “driving on the wrong side of the road” placing the public at “extreme risk of injury.”
Williams managed to escape the troopers and spent two nights at home, before U.S. Marshals arrested him at his apartment on half a dozen charges including reckless driving, fleeing and attempting to elude and driving with suspended license. Jackson is facing two charges for allowing an unlicensed person to drive.
“I’m not promoting disregarding the rules of the system. I will never promote that, but I will always promote surviving if you feel as if your life is in danger,” said Williams.
Channel 2 showed the video to retired Atlanta Police Detective and former investigator of the year Tyrone Dennis. The 16-year veteran who conducted many traffic stops throughout his career watched the footage several times.
“The trooper wasn’t guilty of anything. That trooper was dead on, spot on. He was a professional and he did everything that he could before that traffic stop escalated into something it didn’t need to escalate into,” said Dennis.
If you are stopped by law enforcement and don’t feel comfortable or believe you are being mistreated, you are allowed to record an officer on your cell phone. You also have the right to ask for his or her badge number. If you believe you were mistreated, you can file a complaint with internal affairs. In some cases, it may make sense to hire an attorney to advise you during the process.
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