Last updated: July 11. 2014 9:05AM - 1677 Views
By Shirley Russell sbarron@civitasmedia.com

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Another rally of those seeking to have Thomaston Police Officer Philip Tobin terminated from his position was held at St. Mary’s Church Tuesday night. Civil rights activists, including State Senator Vincent Fort, Michael Lunsford, and Derrick Boazman, and attorneys from Atlanta were present at the meeting. Protest leaders are now calling for more than just Tobin to be terminated.

The meeting was held to explain what the Thomaston Improvement Association (TIA), the organization leading the protest, needs to do in the future. Also, each person with a complaint against Officer Tobin was given two minutes to voice their complaints to the civil rights activists and attorneys.

TIA had invited Thomaston Police Chief Dan Greathouse and Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold to attend the rally to answer questions. They declined the invitation, citing the ongoing internal and GBI investigations, but said once those investigations are completed, Greathouse can meet with representatives of TIA. (The full text of the letter from Greathouse and Arnold is printed below this story.)

Senator Fort told those present he has made contact with the GBI and the United States Justice Department concerning this issue.

“We will now invite the United States Attorney General down to listen to the complaints of the people in person,” stated Fort.

Attorney Albert Mitchell urged residents to stand up and be part of TIA to make it strong.

“We are tired of being null and void, but at the same time we are building a movement to improve every citizen in here. We need to organize to report anything that is not right or if we see something that is not right. Be a walking improvement association to make certain not to live under these conditions,” Mitchell said. “It reminds me of a plantation with a man allowing us to keep us under control. Slavery is over!”

Derrick Boazman stated that they are taking this fight seriously and won’t settle for just the termination of Tobin. He add that the greatest thing that can stop them from being victorious is fear, and that is it time for Tobin and others to answer for their actions.

“If we do not stop Tobin now you will lose more than your job, this man will kill you,” Boazman said. “A police chief that allows this to happen to you is not doing his job either. He is giving him permission to attack the citizens and he looks away!

“We need to start with Tobin, continue with the police chief, the city manager, and then the Mayor. We need to clean up this city council and make things right like they should be!”

The Thomaston Improvement Association is still calling for concerned people to turn out for the next Thomaston City Council meeting, which has been moved to Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the city/county meeting room at the government complex.

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