SUMTER CO., GA (WALB) - It has now been more than a week since two police officers in Americus were gunned down in the line of duty. Friday night the Americus police chief called the community together to deliver a powerful message.
Social media posts showing support for both of the fallen officers have flooded Facebook.
The police chief had a message for those who have been the complete opposite of supporting. He has a warning for those who he says are spreading hate in a time of mourning.
"I want to stand here today and I want the community to know that these hateful people do not speak for me, they do not speak for the Americus Police Department and they do not speak for the people of Americus and Sumter County," said Americus Police Chief Mark Scott.
Chief Scott expressed his anger about threatening words he says have been posted on social media.
"They have attacked individuals, they have attacked family members of the slain officers, they have made threats against them. They have attacked our police officers and made threats against us and our families," said Chief Scott.
Chief Scott says those in mourning should not also have to live in fear.
"If you are threatening someone's life, if you are threatening someone's well-being and causing them some sort of stress, then that is illegal. You cannot use your rights to attack someone else," said Chief Scott.
Chief Scott says that local and federal agencies are aware of what's been happening and punishments will be made.
"They cannot hide against some silly username they put up. They are not anonymous. We can and we will find out who they are and they will be prosecuted," said Chief Scott.
In light of all the negative, he says the community support has been incredible.
"We've had literally hundreds if not thousands of people who have made a point of trying to contact us to give us their support and it's just been amazing," said Chief Scott.
Friday he invited local pastors to speak. They say continued support will be the only way to fight the hate.
"Our hope is to really overshadow the voices of hate that are out there. We believe that love covers a multitude of sins and we are going to seek to do the right thing in the face of those that might not want us to," said Central Baptist Church pastor Bryan Myers.
Chief Scott said threats have been made against the Lembrick family as well. He says they too are suffering and they will be protected from any hate as well.