Sharpsburg, NC – A newly-elected mayor barged in to an emergency city council meeting on Tuesday night to declare that city officials and local police were “biased and racially motivated” against him, then shoved a news reporter as he abruptly stormed out.
The purpose of the emergency meeting was to discuss concerns raised by the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association, which claimed that Sharpsburg Mayor Robert Williams made racially offensive comments and obscene gestures towards police, WRAL reported.
Williams’ anti-police behaviors began just hours after he was elected on May 8, when he was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol after he left a polling site.
According to The News & Observer, Williams had a blood-alcohol content of 0.13 at the time of his arrest.
Williams was also charged with two counts of resisting a public officer, carrying a concealed handgun in private premises, having a concealed gun after consuming alcohol, and carrying a concealed weapon during that incident.
Less than two weeks later, an officer pulled Williams over for driving with a revoked license – a condition that had been imposed due to his pending drunk driving charge.
The union further asserted that Williams violated various city policies and state laws by removing the police commissioner in order to appoint a commissioner of his choosing, WRAL reported.
"Any action to set aside existing law and authority that supersedes local authority or law is not only patently absurd, but clearly unlawful,” union executive director John Midgette said in a June 7 letter to the commissioners, according to The News & Observer. "The actions reek of personal bias and retaliation."
The union planned to discuss their concerns with the commissioners during the Tuesday meeting, but the lack of quorum prevented the commissioners from being able to take action.
Williams, who claimed he had been targeted because of his race, barged into the meeting to say his piece.
“I’m requesting that the meeting be delayed because of the actions,” the mayor said. “I have asked the town attorney, who refuses to call me back…”
“That’s incorrect, sir,” Town Attorney Brian Pridgen interrupted.
“Excuse me, sir – I am talking,” Williams retorted. “And that I have asked for this meeting to be delayed because I don’t have appropriate representation because of what this biased and racially motivated council has against me, so that’s all I have to say.”
But then he said more.
“We will deal with this action because its all racially motivated, even with the police officers,” Williams continued. “And that’s all I have to say. Have a good evening.”
Williams and his entourage then left the meeting and went outside, where the mayor became irate with reporters.
“Get out of my face, man! Bye!” he yelled at one reporter, as he pushed him aside. “You’re not allowed to be filming me. Bye.”
“Mayor, have you been drinking?” the reporter asked, as Williams walked away.
On Wednesday, The News & Observer asked Williams to comment on the incident.
“Talk to my attorney in reference to that. Goodbye,” he said, before hanging up the phone.
Another meeting to discuss the mayor’s behaviors was expected to be scheduled for this week, WRAL reported.