Sheriff: Authorities taking threats seriously, asks for community's help

VIDEO: Sheriff: Authorities taking threats seriously, asks for community's help
Published: Jul. 16, 2015 at 9:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2015 at 9:07 PM EDT
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This flier was distributed in the Waylyn neighborhood. (Photo Source: Live 5)
This flier was distributed in the Waylyn neighborhood. (Photo Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says law enforcement agencies are working together to investigate threats reported across the Lowcountry.

"We want to ensure we are working together to ensure the safety of our community," Cannon said, surrounded by representatives of the Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant Police Departments will attend, as well as agents from the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI.

Cannon said his agency has worked with others to investigate the dissemination of fliers connected with the Ku Klux Klan in a North Charleston neighborhood as well as telephone threats to local chapters of the NAACP.

"Law enforcement certainly recognizes the climate in which we live," Cannon said, referring to shootings at the Emanuel AME Church, a home in Holly Hill and at two military facilities in Tennessee. "We're monitoring all sorts of social media, looking for threats that might be out there."

But he also said residents must notify law enforcement of suspicious activity they see.

Cannon said they have identified individuals connected with threats made.

"In some cases, I will tell you we are dealing with juveniles that post some real challenges," he said. "And in some cases, we are working with people out of state."

He said that in some cases, people have been taken into custody, would not go into specifics about threats made or whether any charges have been filed, citing ongoing investigations.

NAACP Charleston Chapter President Dot Scott applauded the press conference and the effort to reassure the public that law enforcement is taking the threats seriously and will actively investigate them.

"We get threats all the time," Scott said. "But when you get a direct threat, 'We're going to blow your head off,' that's a different thing. Never before have her been threatened that they were going to kill us."

"The eyes of the community are the first line of defense we have," Pastor Thomas Dixon of The Coalition said. He urged people who see unusual activity in their neighborhood to call law enforcement.

"We do not have to tolerate anyone who comes into our community, whether it's the klan, drug dealers, or whatever, we do not have to tolerate that," he said. "The onus is not only on law enforcement, it's also on us to fight this crime," he said.

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