Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Trump's NY Probation Officer, 'Rohondra Williams' -- It's Indiana Police Commander

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Trump's NY Probation Officer, 'Rohondra Williams' -- It's Indiana Police Commander Misidentified

Does a photo circulating on social media show "Rohondra Williams," the New York probation officer purportedly assigned to Donald Trump's case? No, that's not true on both counts: The woman in the photo is not named Rohondra Williams and she is not a New York probation officer. The photo shows Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Cmdr. Nikole Pilkington. That department issued a statement clarifying that she is not involved in the New York case. At the time of writing, no specific New York probation officer in charge of a presentence investigation of Trump had been publicly announced.

The falsely captioned photo circulating on social media surfaced in a post in Threads (archived here) by @itsweeziehere on June 1, 2024. A text caption on the image reads:

Meet: Rohondra Williams Trumps Probation Officer


(Source: Threads screenshot taken on Thu Jun 06 16:51:56 2024 UTC)

On May 30, 2024, a jury found Donald Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York City. The date set for his sentencing is July 11, 2024. In such cases in New York, between the conviction and sentencing it is standard for the state office of probation to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and report, which must be presented to the judge no less than 24 hours before the sentencing. At the time of writing, a specific probation officer who would conduct the interview or write the report had not been publicly named. Lead Stories reached out to the New York City Probation Department and will update this article if we receive a reply.

A reverse image search for the photo in the post on TinEye produced a result linking to a March 2022 article on cops.usdoj.gov titled, "Policing While Black and Female: Five Voices from the Field." The five officers were pictured in the article -- the last image (shown below) matches the photo in the Threads post. It was captioned:

Sergeant Nikole Pilkington, of the Indianapolis (Indiana) Metropolitan Police Department


(Source: cops.usdoj.gov screenshot taken on Thu Jun 06 17:27:35 2024 UTC)

The Linkedin profile for Nikole Pilkington shows that in February 2024 she became a commander in the Indianapolis Metro Southwest district.

On June 4, 2024, a notice was posted by the official X account of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department that reads:

IMPD Statement Regarding Use of Commander's Photo
IMPD is aware of a photo of IMPD Southwest District Commander Nikole Pilkington circulating on social media. No IMPD officer nor Commander Pilkington has been involved in the New York Trump case or has been assigned as a probation officer in this case. We ask that social media users stop sharing her photo and report any posts with Commander Pilkington's photo to the appropriate social media platform.


(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu Jun 06 17:41:26 2024 UTC)

Other fact check agencies have also reviewed this claim, including Reuters, USA Today and PolitiFact.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims associated with the Trump indictments and conviction can be found here and here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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