Several law enforcement incidents related to the George Floyd protest movement were reported over the last two weeks.
Among the reports were:
• Law enforcement officers were called to Integrity Arms Survival, a Jefferson gun store, following the protest march in Jefferson on June 2. A group of people, including the store owner and some friends, were standing outside the store with rifles. According to Jefferson police chief Joe Wirthman, some participants from the protest went to the store at the conclusion of the march in response to alleged comments on social media. According to Wirthman, words were “shouted back and forth,” but there was no report of violence. Wirthman said both parties were separated and set home. The store owner posted a comment to Facebook on June 4 saying the store had it biggest day ever. "While some of it may be due to the current climate, the other part was an overwhelming number of people that showed up just to say they supported me and know who I am. I'm humbled."
• Nimno AME church, an African-American church in Nicholson, received a derogatory email which asked "about black people being depraved and profane and the person added scriptures from different versions of the Bible," a law enforcement report said. The email, signed Sunshine Sunflower, was sent through the church's prayer request link on its website. The email didn't have any specific threats, but an extra patrol was added to the church and the incident remains under investigation.
• A message disparaging law enforcement officers was posted on a stop sign in Jefferson last week. The message, written on a white piece of paper and taped to a stop sign at the intersection of Old Pendergrass Rd. and Hoschton St., read “ACAB,” an acronym for “all cops are bastards.” The acronym is being used during protests around the nation amid tension throughout the U.S. over police brutality. The department also received pictures of other messages around town regarding police that were removed before Jefferson Police Department investigators responded to those locations. One of the messages that was seen, however, was posted on a railroad crossing sign on Hoschton St. that read “police brutality is cold-blooded murder.” JPD officers located the person responsible for the messages based on a photo taken by a citizen. It showed a vehicle leaving after the posting of the message at intersection of Old Pendergrass Rd. and Hoschton St. The photo revealed a vehicle and tag number, and an officer went to the residence where the vehicle was registered. A meeting was then arranged at the Jefferson Police Department where a female suspect admitted to borrowing her sister’s car and posting the messages. The city did not press charges.
• A harassing communications incident was reported on Elrod Dr. in Jefferson where a woman said her husband was sent threats on Facebook after commenting about an Athens-Clarke County commissioner. The woman said her husband posted that “karma caught up” with District 2 Commissioner Mariah Parker after she made comments about law enforcement and then contracted COVID-19. (Parker was an organizer of one of the protests held in downtown Athens two weeks ago.) She said her husband then received messages saying that his family “will rot in hell” and his family “will die slow” because of his comments. The woman said she and her husband blocked those who made the comments, but said threats had been made about finding their address and calling her husband’s place of work.
• A Jefferson woman said she has received calls from a number of unknown numbers and wanted to determine if Antifa has been tracking her phone. A Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputy who spoke to the woman said he could not check this. The woman said her husband works for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and is afraid their Andrew Ridge Dr. residence will be attacked by members of the political-activist movement. She also noted that a number of other officers and their families live in their subdivision. Because of this, the woman requested extra patrol over the neighborhood.