justvisiting 
Member since Jul 15, 2007


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Re: “Folly Beach Residents Report Police Harassment

Where to begin…Well, let’s start from the beginning. I’d like to begin with Chief Boatwright, yes as the first comment so bluntly states he may be protecting his “boys” but put yourself in his situation, wouldn’t you do the same? Let’s keep in mind these complaints (be they legit or not) were made by people who broke the law, or who seemingly broke the law. I will agree that the bicycle bit is a bit absurd, and that situation should have been handled a lot differently. Now let’s all take a look at Eric Kovach, again this seems to be a minor offense. Walking in the road, complaints about the officer, and so forth and so on. We don’t know the content of the conversation that took place between Officer James and Kovach, for all any of us know there could be have been threats made between the two. Next up, Dustin Sheppard, arrested for intoxication in the roadway. Again, it is a bit insane for Officer James to have arrested the man in his own driveway. But again we don’t know the circumstances. I’m not going to bother to continue with everything that is wrong with each of these claims. I am simply going to state, that I have a very hard time digesting this article and the complaints that were made. Simply because it’s not the whole story, we don’t have the police reports sitting here in front of each of us, and we weren’t eye witnesses to the acts. We are getting pieces of the story. Next I would like to address the issue with Shawn James. If in all the cops that patrol Folly Beach there’s only one like him, then the citizens of that island should consider themselves very lucky. Yes, he fits the mold of the typical hard cop, but in the long run, wouldn’t you rather have the hard cop than no cop at all?! Yes, being from Charleston County James is more accustomed to dealing with the more “hardened criminals” not just the local drunks, but in all actuality the man is doing nothing but his job. It may seem like he’s “disturbing the peace” there with the locals because he’s not as well known as the Folly Beach officers. This all goes back to Chief Boatwright’s quote in the original article saying that, “County cops are probably not going to engage in a great deal of conversation.” I think a lot of this all boils down to residents not wanting to see any kind of growth or change in the Folly Beach area. The residents know the Folly Beach officers and are more familiar with them, and they are comfortable with that. They don’t know Officer James, and an unfamiliar officer is indicative of some sort of change, which GASP believe it or not takes place over time. Folly Beach itself may not be growing that much, but it is certainly becoming more and more of a tourist attraction. The more people that are on the island at the time, means there will be more police officers brought in. I’m not solely laying the blame on anyone, I’m not saying that Officer James is not at fault but I’m saying that we need to look at the bigger picture. Rather than sitting here harping on the fact that Shawn James is a Robocop or such a terrible officer or whatever kind of adjective you care to use to describe him, look at the good guys. Look at the officers who risk all to keep the community safe, look at the officers who did all they could to save the man who drowned. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that there is one, and I do believe from all the complaints that someone has acknowledged that there is a problem. On every police force there is always that one cop that no one likes, and in this case that seems to be Officer James, but what kind of recognition do the other guys get? How often do you go up to an Officer and thank them for what they do, for risking their lives to keep you and your families safe? The cops are always made out to be the bad guys, because much like all the rest of the media, all you hear is the negative stuff. It really gripes me to see all of these people complaining about it being our tax dollars that pay these guys. I’d much rather my tax dollars go to the men and woman that keep us safe at night than to the crack-head teenage mom on welfare. It’s the people who disrespect the officers that get no respect back. I can’t help but be redundant in saying that the citizens of Folly Beach ought to feel very lucky that they only have one Shawn James to deal with, and rather than complaining about him look at the broad scope of things and be appreciative of the work he and fellow officers do. And remember in order to be given respect you must earn it

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by justvisiting on July 15, 2007 at 9:51 PM
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