JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — In Walker County, the investigation into Anthony “Tony” Mitchell’s death continues.
Mitchell’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit after he died in the custody of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
On Saturday night, some community members hosted a candlelight vigil there to remember Mitchell’s life.
Organizers and several community members gathered in front of the sheriff’s office not only to grieve Mitchell’s death, but to demonstrate their determination to get justice.
A time of remembrance and resistance is how one organizer described the vigil.
“This has been going on for decades with multiple administrations from the same jail,” Sarah Watkins said, a vigil organizer. “It’s just out of control, and like I said, we are not giving up. We’ll be at every commissioner meeting, and we will do whatever it takes.”
Some of Mitchell’s friends and loved ones took time to honor his life.
“He wasn’t trying to go out of his way to harm anyone,” Austin Banks said, a friend of Mitchell’s. “He was just a fun ole guy. A good ole boy that you could have a fun time with and joke with.”
“We’re not going to forget him,” said another friend of Mitchell’s, Dillon McIntyre. “We’re not going to let that happen without something being said.”
Some community members also held a protest last week.
They told CBS 42 this vigil is another way for them to peacefully request transparency and justice.
“We’re not here for violence or vengeance or anything like that,” Banks said. “We’re only here for justice, and that’s what we want to maintain and make sure everyone remembers.”
“He wouldn’t want us to give up, and we’re doing what Tony would have done if the police department did this to somebody else,” Watkins said. “His family said the same thing.”
Both organizers and participants said they will continue to support Mitchell’s family during this time.
“Nobody’s going anywhere until this is fixed,” McIntyre said. “Nobody.”
Organizers also said that last Saturday’s protest is just the beginning of their fight for justice.
CBS 42 reached out to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and its lawyer for a response to the community’s actions, but they did not respond.