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S.C. Councilman Charged With Intimidating Police Chiefs

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City of Chester

A Chester City Council member was arrested Wednesday night and charged with two counts of threatening the life of a public official.

Odell Williams, who is 70 and African American, used racial slurs against the Chester City Police Chief Andre Williams and Assistant Police Chief Gene Gilmore, both of whom are also African-American, according to the arrest warrant.  The warrant says he met them in the Chester City Hall restroom after a council meeting on March 10.

According to the incident report, police officers were in the restroom washing their hands when Councilman Williams entered and asked them why they stopped talking. The police chief said it was because he was finished talking, but Williams insisted it was because they didn't like him and he said he didn't like them either and he would "take a n**** out, even in church," if he didn't like them.

The SLED arrest warrant and reports say Williams placed his hand in his pocket and shook it while walking out of city hall, "implying he had a weapon on him at the time and that he knew how to use it."

Police Chief Andre Williams asked Councilman Williams if he was threatening him and called in other council members to serve as witnesses. The police officers returned to council chambers and informed the mayor, four council members and a city administrator of the incident. Statements were gathered and Chief Williams says he then contacted the state law enforcement division to conduct an investigation. 

Odell Williams faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.