Williams was appointed as the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department in the wake of Chief Daryl Gates' resignation following the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
He became the first African-American to lead the LAPD.
During his tenure in L.A., Williams worked to bolster the image of the LAPD, and heal the rift that opened between police and Los Angeles communities following the violent arrest in 1991 of motorist Rodney King.
During his tenure in Los Angeles, Williams worked to bolster the image of the LAPD and heal the rift between police and the community following the violent 1991 arrest of Rodney King.
He served as police chief in L.A. until 1997.
Williams also served as the police commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department from 1988 to 1992.
He was appointed federal security director for Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta in 2002. Williams was living in Atlanta, Georgia at the time of his death.
WPVI-TV contributed to this report.