Man arrested for allegedly threatening school board member

Published 12:27 am Friday, July 28, 2017

NATCHEZ — A petitioner from last week’s Natchez-Adams School Board meeting was arrested Thursday for allegedly threatening a school board member during the meeting.

Stewart Williams, 26, 760 Liberty Road, turned himself in on warrants for disturbing the peace and simple assault by fear or physical menace to create fear. The charges are misdemeanors.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lt. Cal Green said school board member and former Natchez Mayor Phillip West signed charges against Williams on Monday.

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West reported Williams allegedly threatened to drag West out of his seat during a July 20th school board meeting as Williams approached West in a threatening manner, Green said. Williams also allegedly threatened West by saying he knew where West lived, Green said.

Green said West reported to deputies that he felt his personal safety was in jeopardy.

A July 20th school board meeting devolved into chaos after West made statements suggesting the approximately 3,300 people who had signed the petition were motivated by race. The organizers of the petition effort were white and the majority of children in the district are black.

The petition was an attempt to force the district to put a $9 million loan aimed at starting a renovation and construction project to a vote. The petition effort failed to attain enough signatures to force a vote, and the school board met Wednesday in a special meeting and agreed to borrow the money.

Williams was released on recognizance.