Ball residents speak out about police chief investigation - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Ball residents speak out about police chief investigation

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BALL (KALB News Channel 5) -- Residents in the town of Ball are speaking out about an Attorney General's Office investigation into the chief of police, Melvin Williams.

News Channel 5 learned that the investigation is due to allegations that Williams sexually harassed another Ball police officer. We are not releasing the alleged victim's name.

That officer alleges that Chief Williams sexually harassed him in late March on a dash camera audio recording and sent him more than 100 pages of unwanted, explicit text messages.

News Channel 5's Brooke Buford spoke with residents to hear their reactions.

"Well, it really surprised me," said Larry Durham, a Ball resident. "I had no idea."

:I try to keep my opinion to myself," said Patricia Estes, another resident. "It's surprising."

Residents of Ball say they were shocked to find out that the chief of police, Melvin Williams, is being investigated by the Attorney General's Office because of sexual harassment claims.

"From what I heard, I think it needs to be investigated and get to the bottom of it," said L. W. Speights, another resident. "Get something done about it."

Last month, a fellow Ball police officer came forward saying Chief Williams was sexually harassing him. Those claims were allegedly captured on dash camera and in more than 100 text messages.

Some residents say the text messages should speak for themselves.

"The first thing I thought was Ball has been through so much," said Christopher Howell, a resident. "He says he didn't do it. The text messages come up. It's no denying the text messages. Ball is a laughing stock. He's made a joke out of it."

Other say they would rather wait until the Attorney General makes a decision about the investigation before they judge him.

"From what I heard from all the councilmen and all backing him, I don't know what to think about it," said Durham.

"I'm waiting to see," said Estes.

The Attorney General's investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed yet.

**UPDATE** After our 6 p.m. broadcast aired on Monday, March 28, Chief Melvin Williams called Brooke Buford back to the police station to hand her a copy of what he told her was an official police document.

That document is an account of what Chief Williams says happened during a March 26, 2014 police meeting. It states that the police officer in question told him that if he "would not go forward with the termination proceedings against Corporal Nathaniel Ussrey," that he would "not" go forward with his complaint of sexual harassment.

News Channel 5 took that letter to the police officer's attorney, Olita Magee. Here is a statement she gave us:

    "We will not engage in a battle through the media. There is a pending investigation by the appropriate authorities and we are confident that the truth     will prevail. Interestingly enough, Mr. Williams's statement does not deny he sexually harassed my client."

We also got in contact with Chief Williams' attorney, Ron Collins. He gave us these comments about the investigation:

    "When the investigation is over, plenty of stuff will come out about the complainant."




 
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