JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) –The investigation into Anthony “Tony” Mitchell’s death continues, and some community members are protesting.
Many gathered outside the courthouse Saturday to protest and made their way to the sheriff’s office chanting things like ‘No justice. No peace.’ Mitchell recently died in the custody of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
Protestors told CBS42 they are not only fighting for justice, but more transparency.
“This is a problem here,” said community member, Ronnie Wright. “It’s a problem that’s been going on for decades and it’s about time a spotlight came down on it and something was done about it.”
“We can’t keep living in a third world county,” said another community member, Karen Kitchens. “This is not right. This is just total abuse, and it doesn’t need to happen.”
The protest comes on the heels of a wrongful death lawsuit against multiple jail officials including Sheriff Nick Smith filed by Mitchell’s mother.
According to a statement made by attorney Edward R. Jackson on behalf of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, they are cooperating fully with this investigation. Citizens say they feel unprotected.
“It’s scary to feel like you don’t have any protection,” said Angela Paul, another community member and protester. “If this is how they treat people as a citizen, as a law-abiding citizen, you still don’t have any protection from this.”
Linda Rowell says her son Vincent also died in the custody of the sheriff’s office back in 2009.
“I want justice. Not just for Vincent- for Tony, for everyone. It is important because think about it. It could happen to another family member. Who’s to say it could happen to your family member.”
Protest Organizer, Ryan Cagle, says community members are now coming together.
“It shows that we believe that there is something that can happen differently here- that a different world is possible and a different Walker County in possible,” Cagle said.
During this time Cagle says he wants Mitchell’s family to know they are loved and supported and that they will continue fighting for justice.
The statement from the sheriff’s office lawyer also says the sheriff’s office extends their condolences to his family and is asking for the public’s patience during this time.