Downtown Intersection Named for Charleston’s First Black Officer

May 11, 2018, 6:57 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (WTAT-TV) — One of the first black police officers in Charleston County was honored Friday — 50 years after he gave his life in service.

Patrolman James Owens, Jr. was killed on May 11th of 1968.

The intersection of Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston was dedicated in his honor.

Speakers at the ceremony said Owens was well-respected and well-known throughout Charleston County.

And for many, he was the first black police officer they had ever seen.

They also spoke about his legacy and why he’ll be remembered forever.

“He lived a life of dignity … even though it has been 50 years since we lost him, he’s not lost. He’s not lost because we know where he is and we know where he is because of how he lived,” said Rep. Marvin Pendarvis at the ceremony.

Owens was born in Charleston in 1933.

He worked for the Postal Service until he joined the army in 1955.