REPORT: Tulsa city councilor cursed, screamed at police

Saturday, July 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A Tulsa city councilor cursed and screamed at police after he called officers to his house because he thought his wallet was stolen, an internal report says.

Councilor Joe Williams claims officers made racist comments to him that night. A report says Williams swore more than once and told officers he was tired of the police department's racism.

An Internal Affairs report about the June 1 confrontation was leaked to the media on Friday after city officials claimed it wasn't subject to the state Open Records Act.

KRMG radio personality John Erling read part of the report on the radio, then gave a copy to the Tulsa World. The document includes interviews conducted by police, transcribed radio transmissions and memos to the chief of police.

Police Chief Ron Palmer has said that based on the investigation, Williams' claim that he had a ``racist encounter'' with officers was unfounded.

The city councilor called police to his house to report that he suspected a woman he had brought home from a bar had taken his wallet. Police later found the wallet in the back seat of his car.

A neighbor who witnessed the scene said officers ``were extremely courteous and very professional.''

Williams has admitted he was drinking that night but denies being intoxicated. He also denies cursing at police after Officer Antonia Hill twice told Williams to step away from her patrol car.

Williams claims he was standing by the car because he wanted to apologize to the woman he had earlier accused of taking his wallet. She was in the patrol car.

Police say Williams had threatened to beat up the woman or kill her over the missing wallet. One officer says he told Williams to shut the car door twice.

After the incident, Williams called police dispatchers and Mayor Susan Savage to say that he had a racist encounter with Hill.

Williams' statement to Internal Affairs officers, says he felt threatened when Hill exited her car.

''... When she came out the car, she started coming over there rushing like she, in my opinion, like she intended to do something physical to me,'' Williams said. Two other officers ``looked like they grabbed her or were restraining her,'' he said.

``I thought to myself ... what if I wasn't a city councilor, what if they didn't restrain her? She was planning on whipping my butt.

``In my opinion, I felt like she was going to do something physical to me. And I'll tell you it is a scary thing to watch someone with a gun on them coming towards you and not saying anything.''