Sylvester citizens rally against police brutality - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sylvester citizens rally against police brutality

February 24, 2003

Sylvester- It sounded like a celebration at First African Baptist Church Tuesday night. But when at least 200 people packed into pews, crammed into the choir loft and even sat on the floor it was for a rally against police brutality.

"Enough is enough," said Bruce Washington. "This is 2004, not 1940."

They say they know it was police brutality that killed Herman Jackson. And they've had enough.

John Cole Vodicka, director of civil rights group the Prison & Jail Project, told the crowd that most police officers are good enforcers of the law.

"But we also have some very bad law enforcement officials," Vodicka said. "Either because they're poorly trained and underpaid or because they're mean spirited and racist bigots."

Vodicka sent a letter to the US Attorney's office asking that the FBI investigate Jackson's death.

The Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta said the city is doing an investigation with the GBI.

"We won't tolerate police brutality," Yearta said. "We have good police officers and then we have some that aren't good police officers."

Regardless of who solves the problem, it's a problem these people want to see stopped. So next time they do gather, it will be for celebration and not to rally against, what they say, is injustice.

posted at 10:40 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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