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IN THEIR WORDS: Area law enforcement leaders react to Derek Chauvin trial
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IN THEIR WORDS: Area law enforcement leaders react to Derek Chauvin trial


As former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, law enforcement leaders in Martinsville and Henry County were asked to share their thoughts about the case and its impact.

Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady and Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper did not respond to our request.

Patrick County Sheriff

Dan Smith

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith


“The justice system has spoken, now we must learn from this tragedy and come together for the good of our country.”

Henry County Sheriff

Lane Perry

Lane Perry

Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry

“In the many years we’ve administered the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, our officers have always performed their jobs professionally and with the utmost consideration for the preservation of life. Although encountering dangerous, emotionally charged situations regularly, we use all means possible to safely deescalate and use any resource available so force is not used improperly. Because of the use of cameras, we make sure we’re doing our jobs to the best of our abilities.

“We’re thankful to have a good working relationship with our community and thankful we haven’t had a situation of misuse of force despite handling many dangerous situations. Over our past history, we’ve had good community conversations before and after controversial incidents. We strive to do our best protecting innocent citizen’s lives. And while protecting the innocent lives, strive to preserve the lives of those endangering others.

“Being a trustworthy agency is our focus and we ask the community to continue joining us in this effort. We will gladly meet, as we already have, with anyone or any group to explain how we do our job reassuring that when someone encounters police, if they will listen to and follow instructions, everyone will be safe.”

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him


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