SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright held a news conference Thursday, where he addressed protests and department policies following the death of Minnesota man, George Floyd.
Wright said the sheriff’s office has been preparing for several days to make sure that if there is unrest that the communities in the county are taken care of.
He also addressed the events that have unfolded in Minnesota.
“There is nobody that I’ve spoken to, privately or publicly, that thinks that what happened in Minneapolis is OK. It’s not,” Wright said. “I don’t care where you are or who you’re doing that to … it’s not how we do our business here. We’ve never done our business that way here, and we’re not going to start doing our business that way here.”
“For people that want to hear me say this, I do not agree with what happened in Minnesota. Not even close,” he said. “I’ve been taught since I was first in law enforcement in 1986 that that is what you avoid. You don’t do that to people.”
During the news conference, Wright said the policies of the sheriff’s office are in line with national associations and that they perform thorough background checks on officers that are hired.
When it comes to protests in the community, Wright said during the news conference that he supported members of the public expressing their first amendment right, but would not support violent gatherings.
“Now, I am OK with protesters. I’m OK with marches. I’m OK with that. That’s your first amendment right,” Wright said. “But when you start throwing things and blocking traffic, and all this other stuff, I have to take a stand on that, and I will take a stand on that.”
“We wanted to make sure that when you come out to protest or to march or whatever you’re going to do, the peaceful ones, I promise you, we’re there for you, and with you. But the violent ones are not going to be tolerated. At all,” he said.