Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Cairo officer

Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Cairo officer
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Cairo officer(WCTV)
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 11:53 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Hundreds of people crowded into a Cairo church Saturday morning for the funeral of Master Patrol Officer Clarence “CJ” Williams.

Williams died last Saturday during a traffic stop that turned into a foot chase. Investigators say he had a medical episode on the scene and died.

This Saturday, his friends, family and colleagues gathered to say goodbye.

“He had a short life--23 years,” said Pastor Annette Higdon. “But in that short period of time, he had such a lasting impact. An impact that will outlive him.”

Williams’s friends say he was the kind of guy you could always count on.

“He would always say ‘I got you. I got you,’” said Williams’s former coworker, Rhonda Taylor. “And he did. CJ always had your back.”

Those who spoke at the funeral described Williams as brilliant, funny and kind. Taylor said when Williams smiled, he shined.

“This world is a much better place because CJ Williams was here,” Taylor said. “He set the bar high for all of us. We need to strive every day to be like CJ.”

Williams’s shift supervisor, Lieutenant Wayne Redden told the crowd that Williams would give teddy bears to kids he met while on patrol. It was a simple gesture, but one that didn’t go unnoticed.

Higdon said Williams strove to create a positive relationship between police and the Cairo community.

“If he had to write you a ticket, you’d say ‘Thank you CJ,’” Higdon said.

In Williams’s 23 years of life, friends say he touched hundreds of hearts, and left people better off for having known him.

Governor Brian Kemp and Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor both attended the funeral.

Mayor Gainor announced that February 4th will now be known as “Master Patrol Officer Clarence “CJ” Williams Day.’