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CPD Employees React to Claims They Were Targeted

10:11 PM, Jul 21, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia Police Department officers Andre and Shannon Williams are joining a group of CPD employees who say the command staff is targeting certain officers.

"Andre's case involves a claim of civil conspiracy.  It includes Chief [Ruben] Santiago, former Chief [Randy] Scott, Leslie Wiser," said Williams Attorney Jay Babb.  "So, revelation that there was a black ops plan against Andre doesn't surprise me."

The revelation comes from fired CPD Captain David Navarro, who claims there was a covert black-ops plan at the department. 

Navarro says Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago wanted him to steal cocaine and a gun and plant them in a city official's car to get him fired.  The city has denied those allegations and Santiago has filed a defamation lawsuit against Navarro.

"He (Santiago) said to me, 'You know who is over there in that region don't you?'  I said, 'No sir.  I don't know anyone in that region.'  And he says, 'Andre Williams,' Navarro said.  "I said what about Andre Williams?  And he says, 'I need you to do black ops on him.'"

Williams says he was demoted from Sergeant to Master Police Officer for speaking against a proposal the Richland County Sheriff's Office take over CPD.

"The situation with Captain Navarro is separate and distinct from this case.  These cases were filed a couple of months back before this situation with Captain Navarro came to light and they stand on their own two feet," Babb said.  "However, it does raise some questions for us as their attorneys as to if there is some kind of black-ops or conspiracy going on as Navarro has alleged."

Williams' wife Shannon says she's been targeted too.  The couple would not speak directly about the case, but relayed answers through their attorneys for fear speaking out would jeopardize their employment.

A spokeswoman for the City of Columbia says the Williams can speak with the media, as long as they are not on the clock and speaking in an official capacity.

"If the allegations that we've alleged prove true in the court of law, then there needs to be some serious concern by the public about what is going on down at the City of Columbia Police Department," Babb said.

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