Thomasville community gathers for unity march, candlelight vigil

Thomasville community gathers for unity march, candlelight vigil
Thomasville community gathers for unity march, candlelight vigil
Posted at 4:05 AM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 00:08:06-04

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Tuesday marked two weeks since a fatal deputy involved shooting in Thomasville.

Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Herbert Gilbert, 37, was shot and killed while Thomas County drug agents were serving a search warrant.

Community members said the pain felt on that day still surfaced in many hearts Tuesday night. 

"We need some changes in the way things are done. We need some changes in the mind of people, for them to understand, that all these things that are happening, aren't just happening. They are happening because we are allowing them to happen," said NAACP President of Thomas County Lucinda Brown.

Unity, justice, and understanding are three things that many people in the Thomasville community are trying to find.

"We can not continue to downgrade each other, we must find a way to love each other," said Brown.

"It's time for us to replace 'I love you but,' with 'I love you, period'," said Jamie Nunnally, Pastor of Victory Fellowship Church.

Some are calling for a change in leadership.

"This isn't just about Herbert Gilbert. It's about following narrowly defined policies and procedures that are already in place," said Tyree Brown, a community member.

Some want the community to go through troubling times together instead of breaking apart.

"We are not Atlanta, we are not Miami, we are not New York. Hatred will not do anything but divide us," said Brown.

"Those forces are at our strongest because we are at our weakest," said a community member.

Many say unity isn't about always seeing eye to eye but rather, communicating and being there for one another when the times get tough.

"Maybe it's being a little more intentional, doing things together instead of waiting for a tragedy to meet together," said Nunnally.

Whether you wear a badge or you're a citizen of Thomas County, this group with many different backgrounds is coming together to heal their broken city.

The GBI said the case is still under investigation.

Once complete, it will be turned over to the district attorney's office.

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