The grandson of Civil Rights icon Hosea Williams says he believes that he and his fiancée were targeted by Georgia State Patrol officers because of their participation in a Black Lives Matter protest. In a video recorded in early August, Andre Williams was seen pulled over in DeKalb County by a patrolman in a traffic stop reportedly for speeding and seat belt violation, according to Atlanta station WSB-TV.
When the officer, Cpl. A. Gray approached the car, the two had a tense exchange that ended in Williams pulling off, causing a chase to ensue.
“You’re not about to shoot me today,” Williams asked. “What your hand on your gun for?”
“Cause you have a gun in the car,” Gray answered.
“Man, so what?” Williams asked.
“Now get out of the car now,” Gray ordered, to which Williams replied that he wouldn’t.
Williams’ fiancée, Amber Jackson recorded the exchange on her iPhone as well as the 12-mile pursuit on I-20 that reached speeds of 100 mph.
“I had to get away and I didn’t want to die. You know that’s all I was thinking survive, survive,” Williams told WSB-TV. “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.”
Earlier in the video, which WSB-TV obtained, Gray had walked over to the passenger side to explain to Jackson that Williams was speeding and did not have his seatbelt on, although he tried to explain that he doesn’t wear it over his shoulder. Gray, however, said he was wearing it improperly.
Williams said that he and Jackson explained to Gray about an incident in May in which she was injured during a George Floyd protest in May. That case against the Atlanta Police Department is still pending “We’ve had a lot of notoriety as far as the police go. I almost feel as if I’m being targeted,” Williams said.
After the chase, he escaped the officer and after two nights in seclusion he was arrested by U.S. Marshals on at least six charges which include reckless driving, fleeing and attempting to elude and driving with suspended license.
Georgia State Patrol officials reviewed the video and said that Williams acted recklessly and put lives in danger. Williams maintains that he fled because he felt he was being put at risk.
“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,” he said.
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