Petition calls on sheriff to resign after shocking chase video

Suspect Timothy McManus, left, and Sheriff Al Cannon. (Source: Charleston County Sheriff's Office)
Suspect Timothy McManus, left, and Sheriff Al Cannon. (Source: Charleston County Sheriff's Office)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An online petition is calling on Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon to resign following the release of videos which show a high speed chase that includes footage of a deputy punching the suspect in the face and a dog biting the man.

After the arrest, Cannon admitted he cursed and slapped the suspect in the face.

The online petition calling on Cannon to quit is on a website called It calls on Cannon to resign for his handling of the Jan. 30 high speed chase that went from Mt. Pleasant to Awendaw. It was a chase in which speeds exceeded 120 miles per hour.

"Al is a great guy and he knows that it was wrong. He came right out and he said it was wrong right off the bat," said Ross Ahntholz, who supports Cannon.

Cameras on cruisers showed deputies pulling 31-year-old Timothy McManus from his truck and sicking a police dog on him while he was being held down. The videos contradict earlier statements from the sheriff that McManus ran from his car and was chased down by the dog.

The petition states Cannon is not fit to lead the sheriff's office and that he lied to his constituents.

"I don't think he should have slapped the guy or used abusive language towards the guy. He's just like anybody else," said Randolph Hazelton, who says the sheriff acted improperly.

People who filled out the online petition didn't mince their words. One woman wrote the sheriff stood by as a restrained man was being beaten by other officers. Another woman wrote,"If we slapped the (blank) out of him what would we get, some jail time."

A third woman wrote, "Cannon let his temper overcome him and he needs to be done."

Some say the sheriffs critics aren't looking at the entire picture.

"It was a heated situation that was going on. The man was dangerous, they didn't know what all he might have done, what he had in his car. I  think it's ridiculous," Martha Lee Brailsford said.

Cannon's critics will have to try to oust him in the November general election.

Jeffrey Moore, executive director of the South Carolina Sheriff's Association, said Tuesday that sheriffs answer only to the people who elect them.

When Live 5 tried to get in touch with several people who signed the petition calling on Cannon to resign, only one would comment, a Johns Island woman named Ruth, who said she was "appalled" how far the chase went.

She said everyone has his "season" and that cannon "blew his season" and that it's time for him to step down. Ruth said she also voted for Cannon in the last election.

A spokesman said Cannon doesn't plan any discussions while an active investigation is being done by the State Law Enforcement Division.

McManus, the chase suspect, is still in jail.

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