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Thomasville residents report post-election road rage, stolen signs

Political tension present in Thomasville
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 17:53:45-05

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — While the election is over Thomasville police are asking the community to keep the peace following reports of stolen yard signs and road rage incidents.

"Unfortunately politics tends to be something people get very passionate about, especially when there's an election going on, " said Thomasville Police Department Cpl. Crystal Parker.

Tensions are now rising following a senate race where there was a lot on the line.

"We've had a few incidences where people had their sign stolen. We had an incident a few weeks ago where someone had run over their sign in the yard, " said Cpl. Parker.

Thomas County Democratic Party Chairwoman Brenda Griffin found out in some cases it's much worse.

"The night of the general election, I was leaving the board of elections office and returning home about two blocks away. A car followed me on Jackson Street and tried to run me off the road, " said Griffin.

Griffin says it happened again after the runoff election. She didn't realize it was a problem until others with political bumper stickers shared similar stories. While Griffin was not hurt, she was left with concerns for her family's safety.

"After that happened, I decided to remove my bumper stickers and take my yard sign out of the yard," said Griffin.

She called the voter protection hotline and police when it happened to her. Yet, it's unlikely anything will be done about that night.

TPD says there is usually just not a lot of evidence in these cases. So the best thing to do if you find yourself in one of these situations is to remain calm.

"It may seem really difficult when someone seems to be targeting you for some reason, but the safest thing to do would be to ignore them as much as possible. If they start following you, I would advise you to drive to the police department, not your home," said Cpl. Parker.

Despite the road rage attempts, Brenda Griffin doesn't fault the opposing party. She says she knows many republicans in the area who are good people.

"We need to realize that no matter what the outcome of an election is, we still have to live, work, grocery shop, and be a community together, " said Griffin.

She says that starts with the leadership over both political parties.

"I do intend as the new Democratic Party chair to reach out to my republican counterparts and bridge the gap because it shouldn't be this way and it wasn't always this way, " she says.

The penalty for road rage varies but can go as far as assault with a deadly weapon. You can be charged with theft, damage to property, and trespassing for taking a yard sign.