Town announces police chief is on leave after NAACP, citizens speak on his behalf

The Town of Mooresville has placed Police Chief Damon Williams on paid administrative leave pending results of the ongoing investigation into the police department’s working environment.

The board also voted tonight to increase the contract with US ISS Agency, which is conducting the MPD probe, to an amount not to exceed $225,000.

The action came soon after NAACP representatives addressed board members during public comments at tonight’s town board meeting. One accused the board of violating and/or skirting open meetings laws. Curtis Johnson, president of the NAACP Mooresville-South Iredell NAACP branch, questioned why the town board is “interfering” with the goings-on in the Mooresville Police Department.

Several members of the public also spoke in support of Williams – and against the town placing him on administrative leave. Some made accusations of discrimination and racial disparities inside MPD. One person said policing – for black men, in particular – has improved under the chief.

“If Chief Williams leaves, you haven’t heard the last of us,” former MPD Chaplain William Conrad told the board.

Mooresville resident Princess Adams added: “Whatever the problem is, y’all need to get it together.”

Immediately after the meeting, the town issued a release, saying the chief had been placed on leave today. Here’s the town’s statement:

“On June 3, Police Chief Damon Williams was placed on administrative leave with pay. While state law prevents disclosure of a personnel matter, this action was taken pending the final review of the internal personnel investigation involving the police department that is being conducted by an outside agency. This action is solely a personnel matter and was not based on any allegation or suspicion of criminal activity.”

The town board called for the investigation in February.

The Scoop broke this story on Facebook, so be sure to follow our page there for breaking information related to this matter. I plan to write a much fuller story on this maybe tomorrow. Thank you all for being here with me – and for your support.


11 thoughts on “Town announces police chief is on leave after NAACP, citizens speak on his behalf

  1. Chief Williams has not been a good leader. The side the public sees has been wonderful. Sadly the side the employees see has not been the same.

    NAACP is only here because Chief Williams has been Meeting with the for sometime to prepare for a race war. The town actually treated Chief better than they should have.

    There are so many things the Citizens are not aware of the Williams was doing. Don’t turn this into something it is not. There is enough evidence to provide a solid case on Chief not being able to terrorize the employees anymore. Don’t cheapen our society on making it about race. That was not even a factor. The only reason there is racism I. The department is because Chief Williams provided it.

  2. Sure! He’s black, your going to try and find everything possible. Racism still exist and believe me the black citizens of mooresville don’t trust the police. My opinion is they only want white so that they can continue to lock us up and treat us unfairly without any repercussions.

  3. I know someone in North Carolina who applied for this job that had more years experience as a police chief than Williams had as a police officer with more education, more training, more accomplishments and was black (still is) that could get an interview with the town. So this is not about hiring someone because of race. This was about poor leadership and poor hiring decisions by the town leaders at the time at the department head level. Hope the new town manager knows what he or she will be doing. But be fore warned that the same consulting firm used to hire Chief Williams is doing the manager search for the town. Yikes!

  4. The Former Town Manager and Consulting Firm did not do their due diligence in researching Chief Damon Williams.The Town Manager Should have Terminated The Chief after numerous incidents of incompetence in the Police Department.Officer Sheldon could be alive today had he had proper training and assistance.Chief Williams and the NAACP will attempt to intimidate the Town Leaders but Citizens will Fight back.Chief Williams has failed to address Citizens Complaints and Good Police Officers Complaints.I have been a victim of a few police officers that were not trained and were abusive and I realize their are good Police.Although I have been mistreated I assure you I will fight for Citizens and Good Police that Mooresville Will be a Safe Place for All.

  5. Everyone needs to reread the 12 statements by employees. How many commented on the administrative staff rather than specifically just the Chief?? That should tell you it is not just the Chief people are saying are the issue. Look at what officers are saying. They feel the COMMAND STAFF – not just the Chief – do not have their backs. Why is just the Chief held accountable for that?
    Again, I reiterate, he cannot fire them all. There is an HR department and the Town that have control. And, again, these feelings and issues with the good ol boy network and unfair treatment were present prior to this chief being hired yet he is being accused of creating it. Not the case. The fact that he is the first black Chief is amazing in and of itself in today’s world. The fact that the department had almost no diversity prior to this Chief should speak volumes about what was going on. Do I think Chief along with the majority of others may have made some mistakes along the way? Yes. No one is perfect. Matters are significantly compounded by the politics being played both outright and behind the scenes.

    Logically, if Cpt. Call and select others filed a hostile work environment complaint due to Chief’s decision to place them on paid leave pending investigation, and the current US ISS investigation was commenced, and now both Cpt. Call and Chief are out on leave would lead one to conclude it is all related. I’d be interested in learning how they are not.

    Further, people still do not have the entire picture on exactly how this all came about. Yes, the majority of employees were interviewed and spoke up. I am confident numerous complaints about inappropriate treatment across all facets by numerous people were raised. They all need to be addressed. But, when a white male complains he has not been promoted and it is a matter of racism as a black male was hired in for the promotional position, all the facts need to be known. The white male may have appeared on paper as the best candidate, but perhaps his conduct showed otherwise. Perhaps he is part of the good ol boy network that needs to be disbanded. Perhaps he is discriminatory and/or racist. Maybe the majority of the officers would not be supportive or maybe they would. Perhaps other information was known for the decision to be made. People are not privy to have every single detail of every decision. Things are not always as they appear to be.

    This community has routinely been an OUTSTANDING support for the MPD!! I pray everyone continues their support. Our officer have a significant and dangerous job to perform and the assistance of citizens in essential. I hope people demand FACTS, ALL of them, before they judge or make a decision about someone’s career and reputation both personal and professional. I hope the community demands those of any rank who have clearly violated policy are disciplined or terminated accordingly by the facts and not race or gender. All officers, black, white, male, female, LGBT, or whatever other identifier you want to add, all need support and your help just as you need theirs.

  6. I hear there is another meeting on Thursday. Please make sure the info is posted. Let’s all make sure facts and not conjecture come to light

  7. Another one of the issues clearly brought to light … the lack of fact checking! The very most basic act in law enforcement. Apparently who penned the infamous anonymous letter failed to do so. I have been careful not to outright name individuals other than Cpt. Call and he is only mentioned because he started this process. Fair is fair. I’ve put my first name out there and obviously know it is known who I am. (I appreciate the respect being paid to me in keeping to my first name for several personal reasons.) Perhaps the anonymous pen should have the courage to do so and produce ALL of the FACTS and not rumor or erroneously coming to what is felt to be a logical conclusion. I believe who wrote the letter is most likely the one passed up several times for promotion, and passed up prior to our current Chief. It begs the questions … why did the prior chief not promote this individual and why did the individual not file a complaint then if he was the best candidate? Perhaps because the prior individual promoted was white? Considering there were only 3 minorities in the department prior to Chief Williams, that, again, should speak volumes. And, I do not believe positions should ever be created simply to advance anyone ever as mentioned last night. Positions should only be created when there is a documented need which would be of benefit to both the MPD and the citizens.

    With regard to the back story, it was clearly stated last night that misuse of evidence and funds was the cause of the suspensions last year which then subsequently sparked the current ISS investigation. If a supervisor, manager, mayor, or even the president, cannot be unbiased about their consistent enforcement of policy and procedures, they do not belong being employed in that position. How completely unacceptable on every level that the Town allowed friendship to outweigh policy. While we all know this conduct obviously goes on, it needs to be stopped. Chief cannot do his job when the Town and/or HR directly interfere — especially so outwardly inappropriately.

    With further regard to lack of fact checking, there has been a director who on several occasions falsely accused an employee because the director did not properly investigate the facts prior to taking action. This director even tried to send it up the chain of command that an employee broke the chain of command by speaking with Chaplin Conrad. Chaplin was never in the chain of command. Isn’t a director supposed to know these facts? Does it not speak to lack of professionalism, lack of knowledge, lack of due diligence in getting facts, an act of retaliation? But when the Director of HR states this director was only named director because she was “the last one standing” again says it all. Why? Was the position posted internally and/or externally and applicants interviewed and the best candidate selected? Was it more corruption and favoritism? Was it the behind the scenes politics? When Cpt. Call can admit he has witnessed her bully and harass employees and force them out of the department, why was that not investigated? Why, with his prior experience in SBI, did the captain not bring this information forward on each and every occasion he had knowledge of to support the employees and consistently hold people accountable according to policy? Again, he files on his own behalf and screams racism and discrimination but only does so for his own benefit. This is not professionalism. This is not integrity, courage, or ethical. This is not being the supposed Blue Family. How are employees, sworn or civilian, supposed to trust when these things are known facts? Lack of trust in any work environment will cause hostility, retaliation, complacency, rumination, an increase in a destructive rumor mill, and whatever is stated is automatically viewed negatively. It is not the CONTENT of the message that is then ever heard, but rather just the INTENT of that person that is paid attention to. Lack of trust will always breed a view of bad intent.

    I do not care what anyone does on their own time as long as they are obeying the law. What I take issue with is when a sworn officer knowingly breaks the law and feels entitled to do so because s/he has a badge, or hides facts in order to continue to do what they wish. Exactly why s/he should not have the privilege and honor of a badge. One’s personal life should not be slandered or brought out, especially when the apparent total lack of facts is evident and it has nothing to do with the work environment. Notice, nothing in my posts reflects anyone’s personal life but rather just their professional conduct. I could share many, many people’s personal lives and disgust the entire town but how is that productive or professional or bring forth solutions? Again, tells people about the character of the anonymous pen and anyone else doing the same.

  8. Minorities and females commit career suicide when going to work for these prominently white male department’s and town board’s or city councils. I’ve seen it over and over again. Recently cities and towns have started a trend of hiring minority Chiefs of Police, thinking it will ease race relations and make their agencies look diverse.

    The problem is the boards and managers that hire these Chief’s, fail to support them when they try to change the culture of the department and are not received well or respected by the staff.

    I was told that this Chief wasn’t wanted by the department’s command staff and officers when he was hired. They wanted an internal Chief and this new Chief he had problems with his staff from day one.

    The Town made a poor decision in hiring a local investigative security firm of retired police officers and investigators with ties to the community, which lacks diversity in their investigate the alleged hostile work environment. The investigation will be one sided and biased and recommend the Chief’s removal.

    The same thing happened when Huntersville, N.C. hired, their first black Chief. He was eventually run off also.

    Mooresville could hire another black Chief tomorrow and he/she would endure the same treatment. The problem lies with the majority of the current make up of their department. Most officers had little if any interaction with a minority before being hired as an officer and certainly have never been supervised by one.

    The officers and the department’s culture will never embrace change.

    In Mooresville’s case, the town and manager should be sued and hit hard in the pockets and the town’s board members voted out next election.

    Related Cases:…/henderson-police-chief…/

    Black police chief in Virginia says she was forced out…/

  9. What does the NAACP know about him besides being of color? They need to stay out of this and stop making g it a race issue. He didn’t have the experience or the knowledge to be a chief of police and the idiots downtown hired him because they are spineless and wanted a minority in place. There’s plenty of qualified minorities but seems like someone wanted Willians on board regardless of his lack of experience.

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About Author

Hi! I’m Jaime

I was a newspaper reporter in Mooresville, NC for a decade and covered local government issues from 2003 to 2006.


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