Lowcountry law enforcement hold joint news conference on Dallas shooting

Lowcountry law enforcement hold joint news conference on Dallas shooting

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry law enforcement agencies teamed up for a news conference Friday to speak about the Dallas shooting Thursday night.

"Obviously, none of us know the specifics of any particular case, but it certainly is important for us to sort of re-establish and reiterate our commitments as agencies and agency heads to providing the same high level of service that we have sought to provide over the years," Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said.

Cannon called the events of this week a tragedy for all Americans.

"It demonstrates how one person or a small group of people can do a lot of harm and a lot of tragedy in a very, relatively, short period of time," he said. "Our prayers go out to folks not only in Dallas but in Louisiana and Minnesota as well."

"We can support them as they were supporting us in our times of challenge and tragedy," said Rev. Dr. Augustus Robinson Jr., with Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy.

Law enforcement officers now wear mourning bands over their badges following the shooting in Dallas.

Cannon said the law enforcement community has weathered "serious challenges" over the last few years, but said their relationships have proven to be stronger than the challenges.

"Events of the last week certainly have raised tensions across the country, and that certainly came to a head last night in Dallas, as an individual who had allowed events to affect the way he viewed the world and he committed an attack that is an attack on all of us everywhere," Cannon said.

Cannon said the agencies are also committed to their employees to help them deal with the challenges and concerns.

"The vast majority of people out in the community support us and that has become even more obvious as events have occurred," Cannon said. "They (the employees) are expected to go and continue to provide good police service. Certainly there's a lot on their minds, we're trying to work with them and address that."

He also discussed the role the chaplaincy and victim advocacy programs play in building relationships between police and the community.

Cannon said events over the past few years have made law enforcement rethink their policies and their training practices.

"We've had a lot of tragedy this week," Cannon said. "That indiscriminate use of violence that we saw last night, I'll repeat what others have said, the attorney general and the president, that is not the way that change takes place."

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers and Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie stood in solidarity with the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, according to Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson.

The shooting left five police officers dead and seven others wounded.

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