Former officer escorted out of Marked Tree Council
The courtroom was packed Monday night for Marked Tree City Council with both citizens and news media from multiple organizations following the recent resignation of Police Chief Michael Matlock. Matlock was placed on paid administrative leave last Monday and resigned Friday. The issue did not come up during the meeting, though Mayor Steve Craig later said he had named Chester Ford, who retired from the position in 2015, as the city's interim police chief for the rest of the year until the new mayor takes over.
What did happen during the meeting was a number of citizens on the agenda discussing issues they were unhappy about. Things got heated at several moments, the biggest of which was when former Marked Tree officer Anquion Williams was escorted out.
When he addressed the council, Williams said he had been fired by the mayor. This marked the third time he had been fired. He had previously been reinstated by the council during the July and August meetings. Williams said when he was fired most recently, he was brought in with another officer who was fired. Williams mentioned rumors behind the other officer's firing and said he didn't appreciate being fired along with him and being associated with those rumors. He wanted to know why he was fired, and Mayor Craig said, "I'm not saying."
Williams said, "You ain't man enough?" and implied he was only fired because of who he was friends with. As the exchange went back and forth, Mayor Craig said he would have Williams escorted out. Williams then read a social media post he had made criticizing a city official. "You want to say I got fired for social media, but did I say 'Steve Craig' in this post?" Williams said. "I wasn't talking about you."
"We knew who you were talking about," Craig said. During the exchange, Williams said he wasn't afraid of the mayor and wasn't afraid to laugh at him. When Craig threatened to have him escorted out, Williams asked if the mayor was going to escort him out for laughing at him. Eventually, police escorted Williams out, and as he was walking away, Mayor Craig said, "Like a clown," and Williams had to be persuaded by others present to allow himself to continue to be escorted out.