Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Ernest Christian Potter, III

Kershaw County Sheriff's Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, February 21, 1974

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Ernest Christian Potter, III

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

February 21, 2021

He was so young. His time here was not in vain.


September 14, 2019

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Potter.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 13, 2019

It has been forty-three years since we lost Chris and a week does go by without thinking about him. I knew Chris for six years with four of them spent in college. We were part of a group of about six-seven guys that shrank to three by our last year in school. We were roommates the last two years.

I still remember the shock when my mother called me at work to tell me about his murder. It took twenty-five years before I stopped thinking about him every day.

Chris was four days older than me and I often think about the impact he would have had on our county because he was a man on a mission when he was twenty-years old. I believe he would ended up in politics or perhaps the sheriff of Kershaw County. It is a shame and our loss that his life was cut short for no reason.

Chris, it has been forty-three years and your memory still makes me cry.

Ardell Young

May 12, 2017

"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.”


Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 30, 2015

I was driving home (GA) from North Carolina and saw a stretch of I-20 named for this man. As a brother LEO, I have taken some things for granted. God bless you, your family, the RCSO.

Officer Skelton
Morrow, GA #938

May 29, 2015

My name is Nadine, my world about ended the day this happened. I knew both officers Richie and Chris, knew Richie very well. loved him with all my heart and I still love him and have kept him in my heart. Have spent years visiting him at his grave. I am 61 yrs old was 20 then, but tonight looked up his name on google and found this page. I will always love Richie and respect his service as a officer. I will always remember him. thank you Richie and Chris.

Nadine Chitwood.
known by forest acres police officers and the department.

April 19, 2015

I work with the Richland County Sheriff Dept and am proud to know the son of one of the officers killed that fateful day. His name is Sgt Potter and he is a true professional following in his father's footsteps.

Sgt Walls
Richland County Sheriff Dept

July 31, 2014

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 38th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered. I pray for solace for all those who love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

February 21, 2012

I was a Deputy Sheriff with the Richland County Sheriff's Dept. when this occurred and I was involved in the manhunt for the suspects. The shooters name was Byrd and he shot all three officers. JD Tolleson was the other Deputy who was shot in the face and seriously wounded.
Rest in Peace Chris and Richie!

Deputy Sheriff's Retired Richard Long

January 2, 2012

my dad was richie finchs partner at forest acres police dep his name is michael miller he was one of the first on the sean he was running late for work that day and was not with him and took what happend verry hard

r miller

December 10, 2011

I was working with Richland County as a Deputy Sheriff and was involved in the manhunt for the suspects. I remember we had a large section of woods cordoned off and the hunt lasted for hours. I remember the suspects slipped away and the shooter identified as a guy named Bird I believe, was apprehended some time later out of state. I remember JC Tollisen was the other deputy and as I remember he was shot in the jaw. I knew Richie Finch, he was starting at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy just as I finished. I went through the Academy with another Forrest Acres Officer named George Dugosh. JC was very lucky and it was so sad Chris Potter and Richie Finch had to die at the hands of someone so cold blooded.

Retired Deputy Sheriff
Formerly of Richland County Sheriffs

May 11, 2010

As my career's end is coming closer, I decided to check and find those who had lost their lives during the year that I was hired. While it's been a long time since your passing, I'm sure those you left behind and those whom with you served with disctinction have kept you alive in their memories. Thank you for your service and for looking out for us who continue in our chosen profession. Rest in peace Deputy Potter!

Sgt. Robert Mau, Sr.
PD Joliet IL

December 16, 2008

Deputy Sheriff Potter,
Thank You for your service and sacrifice. YOU are a HERO!!
May the Lord continue to be with you and your family today and always... Rest in Peace Sir...

Sister of Officer John P Harris EOW 8/19/1994

April 15, 2008

Rest in peace my brother. You have not been forgotten.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

February 21, 2008



February 12, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept.

July 10, 2007

The policeman stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The policeman squared his shoulders and said, "No lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry a badge
can't always be a saint."

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at time I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgement of his god.

"Step forward now, policeman,
You've born your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell"

This poem says everything that can be said about this profession. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Master Deputy Harry J. Polis, Jr.
Richland County Sheriff's Department

August 24, 2005

The fire that you started so many years ago is still burning bright. I am proud to carry on your work. The ultimate price that you gave with your life will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Father.

Cpl. Christian Potter IV
Richalnd County Sheriff's Department

May 21, 2005



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