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Dillon Police Chief Michael J. O’Day says police officers are trained to carry guns, but police do not carry weapons to protect the general public and citizens. He says if Dillon police officers were to use their weapons to attack individuals that were acting violently or threatening to harm a person they were protecting, this could have tragic consequences for innocent people, especially children.
O’Day said police do not possess weapon-on-person training because of safety concerns. He also said the number of violent crimes has gone down in Dillon and in the surrounding area.
The case that attracted national attention was the fatal shooting of a teenager by a police officer. Dillon Police said the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Dillon native Tyree Johnson by a police officer involved in the shooting has never been cleared.
Johnson’s father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dillon County and the police department. O’Day said his client is hoping for a resolution and that Dillon police do not want to become involved in a case they are already not happy about having to face.
“When the city (Dillon) has to go through this again, you can’t make that mistake again. My client is just trying to do the right thing,” Kostas said.
O’Day also said his client has been taking marijuana and other prescribed drugs for the past 15 years. He says Dillon police officers are trained to carry weapons, but police do not carry weapon-on-person training because of safety concerns.
O’Day did say he believes Dillon police officers should be allowed to carry weapons unless they have to use them against violent criminals, and he believes that should include Dillon. When asked about Dillon City Manager Dan Gurnani’s statement that the city is in favor of the current city ordinance, O’Day said “I’m still waiting for clarification on that.”
On Oct. 23, 2016, Dillon police officers fatally shot Johnson after he drove his vehicle into two city buildings and crashed. Johnson had a criminal record and was arrested on several charges, including criminal mischief and assault, in the past in Dillon.
O’Day said his client was in the parking lot of a bar when the driver
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