Smarr and Smith were shot during a domestic violence call December 7. When additional officers arrived, they found the best friends, brothers in arms, wounded and lying in the backyard with Nick slumped over Jody.
Officer Nick Smarr died soon after, and Officer Jody Smith passed away the next day. They were friends in life, and partners in death.
Even in the tragedy, some toxic people have taken to social media spewing revulsion.
Americus Police Chief Mark Scott had strong words about the “hateful people” making threats against police officers and their families on social media, reported The Telegraph.
“They cannot hide behind some silly username that they have put up. They are not anonymous. We can and we will find out who they are, and they will be prosecuted,” Scott said at a Friday news conference.
Scott said hundreds, if not thousands, of people have offered their support after Smarr and Smith were murdered. Yet a handful of people have been hateful, Scott said. They have attacked the families of the slain officers.
Minquell Lembrick was suspected in the officers’ killing and was later found dead by apparent suicide.
There have been some phone calls, but most of the threats have been made on social media. The chief said police are working with the FBI and GBI to identify the people who made the threats, and they will be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”
Scott acknowledged that the First Amendment gives Americans freedom of speech. But there is a limit, he said.
“If you are threatening someone’s life, threatening someone’s well-being or saying things that cause them undue stress and pain, then that’s illegal,” he said. “You cannot use your rights to attack someone else.”
Due to the ongoing investigation, the chief did not identify who has been victimized, nor did he share comments and/or threats that have been made.