GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - One of metro Atlanta's top law enforcement officials is defending an editorial he wrote about the recent national rift between police and citizens that have led to violence.
"ALL LIVES matter" is the core message that Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway is trying to convey in his often extremely critical statement released to FOX 5 Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Conway said he's angry at the whole social structure dealing with police at the moment.
"There's no respect there with a lot of the public. I say a lot. It doesn't take a lot,"' he said. "It just takes one (person) to create an incident where somebody gets killed or hurt seriously."
Conway said he wrote the editorial because he felt he could no longer stay silent about how he felt.
"We've all heard the noisy voices blaming law enforcement officers themselves for these assassinations and it sickens me," Conway wrote. "To say that I'm angry would be an understatement."
Conway said that "fringe groups", "hate groups", and "domestic terrorists with an agenda" have used race and allegations of mistreatment by law enforcement to justify the actions of "inciting riots and committing murders." The sheriff called upon those who feel they have been wronged to use the "clear avenues to pursue it through legal means."
"My priority has been and always will be keeping our deputies and our citizens safe," Conway wrote.
Full Statement by Sheriff Butch Conway: