Mayor Tom Butt’s office released the following statement Saturday in response to the allegedly racially-motivated murder of William Sims, a well-regarded Richmond resident and musician who was, according to police, jumped, robbed, beaten and shot at an El Sobrante pool hall on Nov. 12. An online memorial fundraiser for Sims’ family can be found here.
“I am saddened and distressed as details emerge following the Nov. 12 murder of Richmond resident William Sims, whose death has been deemed the result of a hate crime. As we work to strengthen our city by bringing people together, we must acknowledge heinous acts of hatred, hostility, and violence that occur in our community and nation as a whole.
Though Mr. Sims’ death occurred outside of Richmond city limits in the nearby unincorporated community of El Sobrante, his passing has left our community stunned and seeking justice for a young man who will be remembered as a talented musician and a kindhearted member of our community.
I am appreciative of the response from law enforcement which has led to the arrest of one suspect, and I hope that the remaining suspects are apprehended and brought to justice expeditiously.
I urge Richmond residents to maintain our city’s values of respect and care for one another, especially during a time when we are experiencing a nationwide surge in hate-filled hostility and threats to public safety. Racism, bigotry, discrimination, and all other forms of hatred and oppression have no place in our city.
My office is committed to working with law enforcement along with local, state and federal representatives to ensure that we remain progressive in fostering an inclusive society and ensuring public safety for all.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of William Sims and hope all who knew him can find comfort during this unimaginably difficult time.”