The father of black scholar-athlete twins is calling for the firing of Chester Police Chief Andre Williams after the chief pulled over his sons, and officers drew guns on and handcuffed the teens during a traffic stop on known gang turf.
It’s the first skirmish in Chester County’s police war on gangs that has boiled over since the Nov. 4 drive-by shooting death of City Councilman Odell Williams. Five alleged gang members were charged in connection with the shooting.
The incident comes amid national protests and concerns about how police deal with black men.
And on Monday night, more than 100 people crowded into Chester City Hall, where Carlos Williams, father of the twins, spoke to the Chester City Council about what happened and his concerns with Chief Williams’ leadership of the police department.
What is clear is that Chief Williams, who is black, pulled over Cardan Williams, 16, who was driving with his brother Caymen, 16, at about 8:20 p.m. Nov. 21. Andre Williams is not related to the Williams twins or to Odell Williams, and the Williams twins are not related to Odell Williams.
What is in dispute is the manners Chief Williams and other officers used during the stop in a Chester neighborhood known to police as “E-block” gang territory.[…]
The Rev. Ina Harris, the pastor at Chestnut Grove AME Zion Church, where Carlos Williams and his sons attend, told the council that the police and city owe the teens an apology because they were “judged by the color of their skin.”
Carlos Williams, 39, is a Marine Corps veteran who grew up in the neighborhood where the traffic stop happened. He said his sons did not have an opportunity to pull over after realizing the police’s blue lights were for them and not for another traffic stop that was going on nearby. After they did pull over, he said they were shocked to see that officers had drawn their weapons. He estimated the distance the boys drove after seeing the blue lights as 250 feet.