VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress expressed his frustration Monday about a new group of supporters claiming that police are treating Eric Sheppard wrongly.
Sheppard is the VSU student protester accused of bringing a gun to campus in a back pack on Tuesday, April 21st after he and other student protesters ignited protests and tension on campus by walking on an American flag on April 17th.
As of Monday, the new group of Sheppard supporters was trying to raise $15,000 to bail Sheppard out of jail if and when he is found and arrested. On the website that has been set up for people to donate money, the police are referred to as "pigs".
"Mr. Sheppard is wrong here, not law enforcement," said Chief Childress, emphatically. "I'm sick of people saying that we're treating him wrong or we've done something wrong to him or he's in fear for his life. Fear of what? He's the one who brought a gun to campus."
The group was also trying to raise several thousand dollars to provide shelter, food, and transportation to Sheppard once he is bailed out. But, Chief Childress warned anyone about using any of that money to help Sheppard avoid being arrested.
"If we find out you're harboring him, and I can prove it, you're going in handcuffs," said Chief Childress.
As of Monday, the group planned to come to Valdosta and hand deliver the bail money to Sheppard's parents if and when Sheppard is arrested. Afterwards, they were planning to hold a demonstration to expose what they claim is the cover up of the murder of Lowndes High student Kendrick Johnson.
Johnson was found upside down in a rolled up gym mat in the Lowndes High gym in January, 2012. The Johnson family has maintained ever since that he was murdered, but the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office concluded that the death was a tragic accident.
The group has created a website to help them raise money. To visit the site, click here.