Hundreds march in response to shooting death – Times-Enterprise

THOMASVILLE Hundreds gathered for a Magnolia Street march, which ended up sweeping through downtown Thomasville, late Monday afternoon.

The march was in response to Herbert Gilbert’s shooting death by Thomasville-Thomas County drug squad agent Josh Smith last week.

The march was led by Sir Maejor Page of Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta.Page also lead the group in chants before marching down Magnolia and other streets toward downtown Thomasville.

Chants of “no justice, no peace,” among others, rang through the various streets as the marchers progressed towards downtown.

The rally briefly stopped at the intersection of Broad Street and Remington Avenue.

Page also spoke at the brief stop, including calling for Gilbert’s family to come to the center of the crowd. Bystanders displayed signs with phrases such as, “black lives matter,” “all lives matter,” and “we don’t hate cops, we hate injustice.”

The march then moved toward the Historic Courthouse and the Thomas County Judicial Center. The marchers then made their way down Madison Street and back toward Magnolia Street with chants such as “hands up, don’t shoot.”

At the rally’s starting point, Page said he heard about the shooting incident due to having “people down here.”

Page said he spoke to Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs and Thomasville Chief of Police Troy Rich, adding Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell did not speak to the Black Lives Matter group.

Along with the participation of the Atlanta Black Lives Matter group, the southeast chapter of the Black Panthers also took part in the in the march.

“We came here to support our brother that was killed,” said Hikeem Muhammad, Black Panthers southeast region chairman. “The people wanted us to come and protect the people.”

Some Black Panther members were armed with weapons. Muhammad told the Times-Enterprise the reason for the weapons was “because we are here to defend the people.”

“We just want to let the people know they’ve got to continue to fight,” he said, stressing the importance of fighting injustice in a community.

Page noted the Black Lives Matter group and the Black Panthers are separate entities but are “standing in solidarity.” The rally leader added he is planning to form a Black Lives Matter group in Thomasville.

Shemaria Patterson, who said she was Gilbert’s god-sister and cousin,also marched.

“I’ve been out here supporting every day since the tragedy happened,” she said.

Patterson, also a mother, expressed her fear of law enforcement, along with stating “our community needs structure.”

Patterson also expressed her grief for Gilbert’s sister, Shamya McCoy.

“I wanna know if these same people here is going to be here (for McCoy),” she said of the Magnolia Street community and marchers.

Stating the need for the truth and for unity regardless of race, Patterson said, “It could have been different.”

Chico Davis, another marcher, claimed he witnessed to the Aug. 15 shooting.

“I refused to give my statement to the police and GBI,” he said.

Davis said he was at the scene and claimed three children were standing on porch in clear view of the incident, adding it took the ambulance “37 minutes exactly,” to arrive at the scene.

“We do not hate cops, we just hate injustice,” Davis said. “We’ve been peaceful this whole time, (and) we’re going to remain peaceful.”

Davis expressed gratitude for people of different races showing up for support.

Reporter Jordan Barela can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.

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Hundreds march in response to shooting death – Times-Enterprise

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers |

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