KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Saturday evening, Corporal Frank Lee Whittington Jr. was injured in an officer-involved shooting in Kings Mountain. Whittington is being treated for injuries, as is the suspect.
Whittington was the fourth Charlotte-area officer to be shot in the line of duty in the last two weeks. Two of those officers have died due to their injuries: Officer Jason Shuping with the Concord Police Department, and Officer Tyler Herndon with the Mount Holly Police Department.
Pictured below, from right to left: Kings Mountain Corporal Frank Lee Whittington Jr., Mount Holly Police Officer Tyler Herndon, Concord Police Officer Jason Shuping, Concord Police Officer Kaleb Robinson.
Kings Mountain Police Chief Lisa Proctor said she was thankful Whittington was still alive, and that they didn't need to plan another funeral.
Around 12:40 a.m. Sunday, Chief Proctor held a press conference to give updates on Whittington's condition and answer questions. When asked for her response to the four Charlotte-area law enforcement officers that have been recently shot, Chief Proctor said "it's insane."
What follows is a transcript of Kings Mountain Police Chief Lisa Proctors's response when being asked about the four law enforcement officers shot in the line of duty in the span of two weeks.
"It’s insane. This is insane. What law enforcement is having to put up with and deal with now more than ever. It’s kind of hard to talk about because no one, and I mean no one, knows what it costs to put one of these badges on every morning knowing that as soon as you go out that front door you’re an instant target.
How many other people have jobs to where as soon as you walk out that door wearing your uniform, you become a target?
I know no other people that are willing to lay down their life except Christ, the military, and police officers. It is a calling. This is not a job to law enforcement. This is a calling. Because I can grant you, none of us do this for the pay. None of us do it for the pay.
There's many of us that could walk today and retire but we chose to stay. Or we could go out early on the new 25-year retirement, but we continue to stay. Because it’s a calling.
There is something bigger than us that drives us to do what we do every day. And it’s a cliché to 'protect and serve' but until you wear this badge you will never understand what that means. It is more than that. It is a passion for the people. It is a passion that you are actually willing to lay down your life for someone that you don’t even know. Just so that they can have peace in their community. So that they can live. And so that their children can grow up and be safe. And what I’ve seen this past year, that society has turned towards law enforcement and demonized us over the acts of a chosen few, over the thousands and thousands of us that continue to wear the badge and take ridicule by actions of others that we have no control over, is despicable.
My officers and 99.9% of the officers out there across this great nation stand for integrity. We stand for pride. We stand for community love and involvement. Not just part of the community. All of the community. [Video and audio feed cuts out temporarily.] Of every development. Whether it be the lowest income housings in town. Whether it be the country club. We’re all created equal. And all of us deserve equal treatment. But all of us – that includes law enforcement. That includes law enforcement.
No one wants to be stereotyped. No one wants to be judged on the color of their skin or the uniform that they wear. It’s wrong. It’s wrong as a society to do that.
I look for a day like Martin Luther King said. When a man can be judged not only by the color of his skin. But by Him. I would add to that. I look for a day where law enforcement can be judged one on one. The same way. Not because we wear the badge. [Video and audio feed cuts out temporarily.] Are there bad apples out there across this nation? We’ve all seen it. And let me tell you. Nobody hates a bad cop than those of us that are good cops. Because it gives us, those of us who have the integrity, and the moral fortitude to every day go to work and do what’s right. Even when we’re being spit on, attacked, or shot, we continue to go because it is a calling by God.
I love this town. I love this community. And I’m going to serve as long as the Lord lays on my heart to do so. And in my department, like many others across this great state and nation, are going to stand for what’s right. Regardless of who stands against us.