A Black Oklahoma County detention officer decided that standing with the crowd to protest police brutality, and the horrific officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was more important than his job.
According to KOCO, Keval Williams, now a former detention officer, was told that he could not kneel with protesters and decided to take action.
“I turned in my badge, and now I’m out here,” he said in video that has been shared across social media.
Williams told KOCO was protesting before the incident at work even happened, however, he got called into work at the jail. Once there, he wanted to take a knee to show his support but was told he could not.
Williams also said after he quit, he saw all the officers taking a knee in front of the protesters…of course, once the media cameras showed up.
“I didn’t want to quit my job…because I felt like that wasn’t the message I wanted to show,” Williams told the news station. “I wanted to show all these protesters that police officers, corrections officers stand with you and they understand what you’re doing.”
“These correction officers, these police officers when cameras are not around…that’s when they should be taking the knee,” he added. “Why can’t one or two officers walk with us?”
Mark Myers, with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, told the station that staff was called in to help push back “protesters who turned into rioters.”
“Protesters who turned into rioters tried to breach the jail, set one of our vans on fire and were knocking out windows,” Myers said, noting it was “an all-hands on deck” situation.
Myers said it was simply a situation of needing essential employees assigned to the jail to remain at the jail.
If employees want to protest, Myers suggests that they just “take the day off.”