Jaquay Williams, the police officer who was ultimately terminated from his position after sharing a popular TikTok video about George Floyd's murder, joined the Breakfast Club team early Friday for an extended interview.
As Williams explained in the new interview, which follows his recent appearance on MSNBC, his attraction to the field of policing comes from a desire to be "a role model from the inside." That desire, he explained, was first ignited amid the controversy surrounding the Trayvon Martin case.
As for the George Floyd clip in question, Williams—who has been publicly critical of the actions of the officers involved—said it wasn't as calculated as it may have seemed to some.
"I just turned the camera on and it just came out," he explained. "I didn't know it was gonna do what it did but I knew it was gonna do something … I was like, you know what? I'mma use this platform and it's gonna be different because it's coming from a Black guy with a badge."
Asked about the Greensboro Police Department's recent statement claiming that he wasn't fired over the Floyd clip, Williams gave the full backstory on his eventual termination. According to Williams, his firing was due to a total of four different charges that were all social media-related, though not specifically linked to solely the Floyd clip. Instead, that clip's popularity brought a new attention to his social media output.
"On TikTok for a month, I'm posting up the humor videos and stuff like that and then the George Floyd thing happened," Williams said. "I post up the George Floyd [video], right? It goes crazy. I get called to Internal Affairs. Internal Affairs brings me upstairs. They telling me, 'Look, don't post in your uniform.' Mind you, I had been posting for a month but I guess now that I was in front of everybody and people were talking, they were like 'Don't post in your uniform. Take the videos down. We're opening an investigation into your social media.'"
Within an hour of exiting the Internal Affairs office, Williams said he had been contacted by The Shade Room and others about the video, despite having made his videos private due to the investigation. With the clip already making the rounds, Williams—whose "Hello America" video was, according to him, also the target of criticism from the department—appeared on MSNBC for that aforementioned Tamron Hall interview. According to Williams, the department took issue with his explanation of initially wanting to become a cop so he could "get behind the badge" to "figure out what was going on" and ultimately put a stop to it.
"They didn't like that," he said.
Williams was ultimately placed on administrative leave, resulting in general desk duty for months before finally being terminated due to reasons that he explained as all stemming from his social media.
"The video only brought light to what was going on," Williams said, adding that some of the department's concerns—including one focused on his merchandise line that he says preceded the TikTok virality—didn't make much sense.
Catch the full interview up top.