To the editor of the Jackson County Times and the Jackson County Community:
I am the mother of Thadius Rhian Garrett. I lost my son on Thursday, October 16, 2008 to a senseless crime. My son was shot in the back at his residence with his family (which included his two young children) present. His four year old (my granddaughter) watched as her father was shot and struggled for his life. His 3 month old was inside the house with his mother who, hysterically, was trying to help my son get into the house and escape the gunfire. The Jackson County Floridian has failed to report this but they have provided some interesting and not very responsible journalism, if you can call it Journalism.
Two detectives showed up at my home yesterday. It is noteworthy that I had not been contacted ever by either of them for any information update or otherwise. They came to inform me that the vehicle driven by the men who shot my son was a borrowed vehicle and they wanted to "appeal to me and my family not to retaliate against this man". As he spoke I thought to myself….How did we become the people who they needed protection from? What did we do wrong?
My daughter, son, and family have been somewhat busy picking out a casket, clothes for a last viewing, and just trying to make sense of this tragic incident. "Vigilante justice" has never crossed my mind. Civil justice for my son is all that I have ever wanted and all that we want.
This was never a race issue for me until it was made into one by the Jackson County Sheriff’s office. Mr. McDaniel has assured the public they will tolerate no vigilante justice. I agree with him whole heartedly and my appeal to the community is to let this play out in the courts. This "vigilante justice" should never be tolerated, just as it should not be tolerable for a lynching to occur.
Three men (people), black, indigo, or green should never be allowed to go to another man’s house and gun him down (shoot him in the back) in front of his family. A little girl should never be terrorized and have to report to her Nana that she "saw them shoot my daddy saw his legs when he fell".
I applaud Mark Sims for asking for a higher bond for this man who killed my son and Judge Wright for granting it. Not because it was above and beyond but because it was the right thing to do. I believe that the bond should originally have been a higher amount or none at all. What is the merit for my son’s life, it deserves a representative bail cost for the severity of the crime. I simply ask that the punishment fit the crime.
Just as any mother, I need to feel justified in my heart that justice is being served. The parents of this man did not ask for the suffering that should soon be theirs BUT neither did I. I ask for Gods comfort for their souls and minds and that His perfect rest will abide with us all.
The merit of a man can only be judged by God. Thad was very well loved and cared for not only by his immediate family but numerous other people in the community. I do not want to see this situation and the inadequate, incorrect uses of the media cause separation and strife in the lives of people who have dwelt together in love and friendship. I have reared and nurtured my children with a love and admonition of the Lord and I will trust in Him alone for the completion of this in a perfect manner.
I could not care any less what color these people are, where they come from, what kind of car they drive, where they live or what they did before Thursday October 16, 2008. I care that they killed my child; a child who as the Floridian’s bloggers’s have been so quick to point out was not a perfect child like those who killed him but never the less perfectly loved by his mother.
Please have no fear from me. I own no guns or knowledge of "drive bys". I only have an empty space left in my soul that longs for that imperfect child who is loved as much as any perfect child. I respectfully request of the Floridian please make an attempt to at least get the spelling of his (my son’s) name correct. It shows some degree of respect to get a persons name correct. It’s THADIUS RHIAN GARRETT.
Peace, Rest and Blessings to ALL.