Two SCMPD Officers still on duty after CNT drug probe - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Officers still on duty after CNT drug probe

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Star Cpl. Willet Williams Star Cpl. Willet Williams
Sgt. Malik Khaalis Sgt. Malik Khaalis
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Even though Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia will not prosecute any cases involving Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officers Sgt. Malik Khaalis and Star Cpl. Willet Williams, they're still on active duty.

Savannah Law School professor and former White House National Security Counsel Andrew Wright likened a police officer who can't take the stand to a spy who can't be trusted with classified intelligence. 

"If an officer can't go in and testify in court, then they're not much use to the criminal justice system," he said. "If you worked at the department of defense and you couldn't get a security clearance, you wouldn't be much use to our national security apparatus." 

So why do these officers still have jobs? WTOC asked Police Chief Willie Lovett that, but he's referring all questions to the city attorney. 

City Attorney Brooks Stillwell said he's launching his own investigation into the matter. 

Mayor Edna Jackson also declined to comment. Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson said he thinks the police department can work around the handicap. 

"We have a 600-member police department," he said. "We have officers everywhere. And so I would hope that there's some interim, strategic, I mean operational plan to address those types of issues." 

Several council members declined to comment - except District 3 Alderman John Hall who WTOC reached by phone. 

"The confidence and the trust in the department as a whole gets eroded when this situation, when these situations occur," Hall said. 

So far, the district attorney and the U.S. attorney aren't saying why they don't trust these officers. 

But when WTOC started digging, we found more than 1,100 pages of documents, including a Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team report alleging the officers were involved in drug activity and a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police internal affairs investigation that found insufficient evidence of violations. 

The narcotics report involves a confidential drug informant, who claims he bought large amounts of cocaine from Williams' brother. 

That confidential informant also claims the drug deals came with a personal police escort, according to the report. 

Narcotics agents believe that escort was provided by Williams, although a police internal affairs investigation called these allegations, "not sustained," according to the CNT's report. 

After the informant's tip, narcotics agents started investigating the Williams brothers and filed a 52-page report. The report says Khaalis was eager to be part of that investigation.

Several months later, narcotics agents started to suspect Khaalis was a mole - tipping off the Williams brothers that they were being watched, according to the report. 

In their report, CNT agents say they obtained phone records that show Khaalis called Williams eight times while Khaalis was on a stakeout of Williams' brother. 

The investigation by the SCMPD's Internal Affairs unit disputes those call records, finding, "the investigation conducted into the allegations made by the CNT and the FBI failed to prove any SCMPD violations". 

Khaalis was promoted to sergeant shortly after the metro investigation wrapped up. No charges were brought against either Williams or Khaalis. 

According to the narcotics team report, Khaalis failed an FBI polygraph test when asked whether he'd violated his oath of office and whether he'd tipped off the Williams brothers about the investigation. 

The confidential informant passed his polygraph. 

Williams declined to comment for this story. Khaalis referred questions to his attorney, who also declined comment.

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