Sheriff previously pledged not to assist ICE in county where nursing student was murdered | 28 Feb 2024 | After the Athens-Clarke County mayor insisted that the community where nursing student Laken Riley was murdered by an alleged illegal immigrant was not a sanctuary city, residents pointed to the sheriff who campaigned on not cooperating with ICE. A resurfaced video from 2020 appears to show then-candidate John Williams, who is now the Athens-Clark County sheriff, stating that he would not cooperate with ICE. "It is not my intention to cooperate with detainers," Williams told a reporter from the Athens Politics Nerd. "I see it as the sheriff's responsibility to protect the community. We can't help with a culture of fear in our community and expect our community to respond and help us in situations." While campaigning, Williams promised that he would not be "contributing" to a "culture of fear."