Memphis police union president shares story after testing for COVID-19

By , Daily Memphian Updated: April 27, 2020 2:12 PM CT | Published: April 27, 2020 1:28 PM CT

Mike Williams, president of the Memphis Police Association, confirmed on Facebook he tested positive earlier in April for the coronavirus but said he has now tested negative and hopes to return to work next week. 

In a five-minute video Williams posted Friday, April 24, he shared his experience, which he called his “testimony.”

“You gotta be really careful out here. You gotta make sure you’re taking care of yourself,” he said.

Jones said he took all the precautions but still got the virus.

“You’re taking precautions and ... when they instituted the stay at home, I did it. Stay away, I did it. But as a police officer and being in my office and still having to get around — some way, somehow — I contracted it. But that ain’t the end of the story.”

Williams said he was diagnosed with the virus April 1. He said he tested positive twice but did not exhibit any symptoms of the virus and has been quarantined at home.

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He said he decided to go public on his Facebook page about testing positive so he could tell his own story and help others.

Williams said he will discuss the matter May 4, when he plans to return to work. In the meantime, he gave permission to use details from his Facebook video.

In the video, he said his family has tested negative and he is grateful for their support as well as from his fellow officers and the community. 

“I have been one of the blessed ones,” he said. “I have not had a lot of the symptoms a lot of people that have contracted this have, but I will say that this is something serious. I know a lot of times people take it lightly ... you think it won’t happen to you, but I am telling you it could.”

He said his “heart goes out” to the first responders, health care workers and people who work at stores and all essential workers who have to go work.

Williams said he has not been at work since the end of March, and believes police should get hazardous duty pay.

“It is not like they can go home,” he said. “Once this is over, I am going to have to go right back to work and, guess what, I am going to go. I am going to go gladly.”

In a follow-up video posted Monday, April 27, Williams said he was tested a third time April 24 and his test came back negative.

“I have finally tested negative. Thank you, Jesus! Hallelujah, praise God, ” Williams said in the video in which he urged people to get tested. 

“I found out that there are a lot of people who are testing positive three or four times. They are coming back positive. It affects everybody in a different way, and that’s why it is so important for people to get tested.”

Twenty-one Memphis police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus and 63 are quarantined.


Mike Williams Memphis Police Association coronavirus
Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones covers criminal justice issues and general assignment news for The Daily Memphian. She previously was a reporter at The Commercial Appeal.


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