WAYCROSS, Ga. – At a community meeting in a Waycross church, a man wearing a shirt with a Black Panther Party logo threatened that a militia would be coming to Waycross unless an arrest is made of the officer who Georgia police said fired gunshots at a car containing two teenagers during what investigators said was an attempted traffic stop.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation of the incident Saturday morning in Waycross. Nobody was hurt by the gunfire.
The community meeting, led by The Rev. Farrell Malone, started with some constructive talking points.
“We need at least 50,000 signatures from anybody in the state of Georgia to say justice must take place,” Malone told the group of people.
But closer to the end of the meeting, the message about seeking justice began to sound more aggressive when a man wearing a shirt with a Black Panther logo got up and spoke about sending messages to the Waycross mayor, City Council and GBI about wanting the officer arrested.
“They got 10 days to make this arrest or all hell is going to break lose in Waycross Georgia. Five thousand Black militia is coming, and they will make this arrest, or we will make it for them,” the unidentified man said.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said making threats don’t help the situation. He said the people who are upset need to let the GBI finish its investigation into the officer’s actions.
“You can’t necessarily put a timeline on an investigation when they are trying to do a thorough investigation,” he said.
Jefferson said base on the preliminary information released by the GBI that “it does not look good on behalf of the police at this point.”
Jefferson said state and local law enforcement departments are aware of militias showing up in cities where there is protest toward police and he said authorities in Southeast Georgia won’t be off guard.
“They’re going to prepare for all those things they are threatening to do,” he said.