State police arrested a Chester city councilman Wednesday, two weeks after he was accused of threatening to “take out” the town’s police chief and another officer.
According to a State Law Enforcement release, Councilman Odell Williams, 70, was charged with two counts of threatening the life of a public official.
Williams’ arrest came after a March 10 incident, when SLED warrants state the councilman confronted Police Chief Andre Williams (no relation) and Major Gene Gilmore in the restroom at Chester City Hall. The Rock Hill Herald reported at the time that Chief Williams and Councilman Williams had sparred over whether police officers should be able to take their cars home after a shift. The councilman said he did not think the cars should leave town limits.
According to all involved, Councilman Williams walked into the restroom just as Chief Williams and the major stopped talking. Councilman Williams confronted the pair, confident they had been speaking about him behind his back.
According to the warrant, Councilman Williams then told both men he “didn’t like” either of them and called them a racial epithet (the “N-word,” according to the Herald). The warrants states he then added he would “take them out.” The warrant states Williams then put a hand in his pocket, implying he had a gun, and knew “how to use it.” The warrant adds the account was confirmed by “multiple witnesses.”
At the time, Councilman Williams (a retired police officer) denied he had threatened the police chief, but said he regretted lashing out. He admitted using the “N-word” although he insisted it was not meant in a racial context. He also denied having a weapon in his pocket at the time, telling the Herald he would not be “stupid” enough to take his weapon inside City Hall.
If found guilty, Williams faces up to five years in prison.