Attorney claims security too tight at downtown Charleston courth - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Attorney claims security too tight at downtown Charleston courthouse

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Security outside of the Chas Co. Courthouse Friday. (Source: Andy Savage) Security outside of the Chas Co. Courthouse Friday. (Source: Andy Savage)

As attorney Andy Savage attended a bond hearing for his client at the downtown Charleston courthouse, he claimed there was an unprecedented number of deputies surrounding the building.

He provided pictures to News 2 that show armed guards holding automatic weapons. The pictures also show what appear to be SWAT members around the entire courtroom.

Savage is representing Ronald Reid. He is one of the suspects in the shooting at the Cycle Gear Shop in North Charleston that left 3 people dead.

While there are reports that the violence was gang related, Savage said that is not true.

"Somebody's been reading too many novels and somebody's been watching too much TV or spending time on the Internet," he said. "That's not what's going on."

Savage claims the increased security was in an attempt to intimidate his client. In a statement to News 2, the Charleston County Sheriffs Office refutes that claim.

"The Sheriff's Office has the responsibility to ensure the safety of those who have business at the courthouse [...] It is not uncommon for the Sheriff's Office to increase security and law enforcement presence at a court hearing," the statement read.

Savage, who has been a practicing attorney in Charleston for decades, said he has never seen that much security for any case he has tried.

"Law enforcement doesn't have any business in America asking people why they're coming to court and what they're doing here and who's side they're on, it's just preposterous," he said.

Reid was given a $100,000 bond Friday morning. Savage said he has full faith that the judge did not let the increased police presence affect his decision.

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