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Supporters rally for Laurens County Sheriff

After a grand jury decided not to pursue charges in the David Hooks case, supporters of law enforcement held a rally.
Supporters of law enforcement hold rally signs on the steps of the Laurens County Courthouse.

Just three days after a grand jury decided not to pursue charges against deputies in the shooting death of David Hooks, around 40 people showed up to the courthouse Saturday morning, voicing their support of the Laurens County Sheriff's Office.

Video journalist Hunter Joyce attended the rally, and spoke with the supporters of law enforcement.

"They feel like it's them against the world, and I just want to let them know that they're not against the world, that there are people out there who support what they do and what they stand for," says Brandie Bonner, the rally organizer.

Before the rally began, participants prayed for peace, and Bonner addressed about those who showed up.

"I was saying to the crowd that I want this to be a peaceful rally. That I know that we're gonna have the Hooks family supporters that's gonna come by and try to provoke us, and to us lashing out at them," says Bonner. "Don't do it. That's not what this is about. It's not about them. It's not about us. It's about law enforcement."

Laurens County Sheriff Bill Harrell was in the crowd. He says he attended to thank citizens who back his office.

"And I'm not in a uniform, I come here dressed like everybody else and I'm here because to support them because they're supporting us," says Harrell.

And despite those who don't support him, Harrell says it doesn't change how he views his position.

"I took oath to swear to serve and protect the people in our community," he said. "Regardless if they like me our not, I'm still going to do my job, and all my officers are going to do their job."

"I mean, people just don't appreciate them enough. They just don't say thank you," Richard Copas, a 40-year Laurens County resident, said. "Any little thing they see go wrong, they jump on the bandwagon."

He believes people disrespect law enforcement.

"It ain't just what's going on here in Laurens County with our sheriff's department," Copas said. "It's all over the country that I have problems with. And to come out here and support the sheriff's department, the police department, and stuff like that, I just can't help it. I just gotta do that. I just feel like it's patriotic for me to do that."

Only one or two cars passed by who antagonized the supporters.

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