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Douglas city commissioner Olivia Pearson and a friend jumped in the middle of a traffic stop conducted by three city police officers – Sgt. Stacy Williams, Cpl. Chad Williams, and Ofc. Patrick West – while investigating a drive-by shooting in the city just hours after Gabriel Demetrius Douglas had been murdered at a local business. Commissioner Pearson, who has had a history over the years of getting involved in traffic stops, compromised the officers’ safety and the integrity of the investigation through her actions.
According to reports written by all three officers, Sgt. Williams initiated a traffic stop after a shooting was reported on South Pearl Avenue. Witnesses described the vehicle in which the shooter was riding as a silver Impala. Sgt. Williams saw a vehicle that matched the description and pulled it over. Ofc. West and Cpl. Williams assisted Sgt. Williams in the traffic stop.
Not only did the vehicle and its occupants match the description of the drive-by shooters, but the officers also believed that Douglas’s killer could have been in the car as well. As you might expect, the stop was intense and the officers were taking every precaution they could. Sgt. Williams and Ofc. West had their sidearms drawn while Cpl. Williams had a rifle on the vehicle.
According to the reports, three individuals – two females and a male – were in the car. As the officers cleared the vehicle, two individuals pulled up in another vehicle behind the police cars. Both individuals, one of whom was identified by all three officers as Commissioner Pearson, approached the officers. Ofc. West and Sgt. Williams asked the two people to back up. A male was with Commissioner Pearson and the reports state that he had a cell phone out possibly videoing the incident. After being asked by the officers more than once to back up, Pearson and her friend returned to their vehicle.
The officers eventually let the three individuals who were in the Impala return to their vehicle and leave the scene. Sgt. Williams and Cpl. Williams also left the scene. As Ofc. West was preparing to leave, he heard Pearson, who was still at the site of the traffic stop, yell, “This is bullshit.”
Cpl. Williams wrote in his report that “by Pearson intervening with this traffic stop, she hindered and endangered ALL the officers, occupants of the stopped vehicle and her party. Her actions this night could be construed as obstructing or hindering of a law enforcement officer (OCGA 16-10-24).” Sgt. Williams stated in his report that he “walked over to the Commissioner’s vehicle and explained to her how dangerous it was to walk up behind us during this type of stop. She stated she was sorry but she [saw] guns out and wanted to know what was going on and when I was telling her to step back she didn’t know it was me.”
DouglasNow.com attempted to contact Commissioner Pearson by phone and text earlier today. She did not answer the phone or reply via text.
A complete video of the traffic stop is included below. The stop is nearly 20 minutes long; Commissioner Pearson does not appear in the video but her voice can be heard around the 14:00 mark.