Following Claims Of Racism, Sexual Assault, Residents Plan March To Williamstown Police Department | WAMC

Following Claims Of Racism, Sexual Assault, Residents Plan March To Williamstown Police Department

Aug 20, 2020

After a lawsuit alleging racism and sexual assault in the Williamstown, Massachusetts police department was filed in federal court last week, a protest march is planned for Friday evening.

Sergeant Scott McGowan’s suit came just days before Williamstown voted to adopt a pledge to make the town as equitable and inclusive as possible. Jessica Dils says the march is a statement about accountability in the Berkshire community of around 7,500.

“The federal lawsuit is against both the police chief, the town manager, and the town itself," she told WAMC. "And so as residents of the town, we feel as though it’s actually directed toward us. And so we as citizens want to make sure the message is loud and clear that anything less than a safe and secure department is not acceptable.”

Town Manager Jason Hoch and Police Chief Kyle Johnson have turned down opportunities to comment on the lawsuit. Williams College President Maud Mandel joined calls for an independent investigation of the claims this week.