Wilkerson: Charges would’ve kept police from releasing Williams’ confession

Manhattan citizens have been puzzled since the RCPD announced Monday 21-year-old Dauntarius Williams wouldn’t be charged for any crimes after defacing his own car with racist graffiti near the campus of Kansas State University.

The incident, which came to light in a big way on Nov. 1 after photos of the vehicle circulated on social media, prompted the K-State Black Student Union to hold an emergency meeting that night. Williams, a black Manhattan man, initially told police his car was vandalized. He also falsely claimed to be a K-State student.

When the RCPD released Williams’ confession Monday and said no charges would be made, the BSU responded with a statement that night urging authorities to reconsider.

Thursday, Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson told KMAN charges wouldn’t have allowed the RCPD to make Williams’ confession public knowledge.

“I hope it is clear that had we charged, we could not have released the statement or made it known to the public,” Wilkerson answered in an email from KMAN comprised of questions concerning the county’s decision not to prosecute.

Tuesday, RCPD Director Brad Schoen told KMAN it was important for both himself and Wilkerson to find an opportunity for calm, rather than prolong the incident with charges.

“There’s a time for prosecution and there’s a time for mercy,” he said. “We both felt this was the appropriate time for mercy and for the system to not prosecute Mr. Williams and to just try and heal the differences and divides that resulted.”

Wilkerson also clarified Thursday that the precise charge that could have came from his office for Williams would’ve been interference with law enforcement — a class A misdemeanor.

Wilkerson also said authorities informed him a neighbor of Williams made the initial police report about the car, but that Williams did speak to police.

The post Wilkerson: Charges would’ve kept police from releasing Williams’ confession appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

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