Protesters march in Blakely - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protesters march in Blakely

Cynthia Edwards Cynthia Edwards

January 14, 2004

Early County-- Protesters who are still upset over a grand jury decision more than six months ago, continue to demostrate in downtown Blakely.

Pastor Cynthia Edwards says, "I will continue to march, I will continue to march until we get justice."

In July, the sheriff was accused of using jail inmates to work for family and friends. A grand jury heard the complaints, but found there was no evidence to indict. But, that decision did not quiet a small group of people in Early County, who says justice was not served.

It's Wednesday afternoon in Blakely and there's one thing you can count on--protesters. Edwards says, "Here on the week coming up to King's birthday, it took a year in Montgomery through the bus boycott to get some results. We have only been out here six months."

Pastor Cynthia Edwards leads the Greater Outreach Church. She also leads these weekly protests, now in the sixth month.

Alice Hutchins has been marching alongside Edwards. She hasn't missed a Wednesday, "You know my husband was the one they set up to indict. That was all part of the corruption here." Her husband is councilman Al Hutchins. He was acquitted last month on charges he stole insurance money from the city. His supporters think he was targeted because he stood up against Sheriff Murkerson.

Corruption county-wide is the reason these people say they will keep marching. Hutchins says, "I'm going to keep marching as long as it takes."

As long as it takes to reach their goal: they want a federal investigation into the Sheriff. Edwards says, "The state, the state failed us, so we know that to the get the federal government in it is going to be an uphill journey, it will. But we are willing to do that."

These protesters have proven they are willing to go the extra mile--even if that means walking miles to do it. Sheriff Jimmie Murkerson says there is another side to the story which he plans to make public soon.

Posted at 4:24 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com