A group of inmates at Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia are paying tribute to Officer Antwan Toney — who was fatally shot in the line of duty — sharing their heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family and their appreciation for all those who serve.
The 30-year-old officer, who had been a member of the Gwinnett County Police Department for nearly three years, was fatally shot when responding to a call regarding a suspicious vehicle on Oct. 20. Ever since, the community has been grieving the loss of the officer — including an unsuspecting group of inmates who wrote a letter addressed to Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway to express their condolences.
“Sheriff Butch Conway received a heartfelt letter from the most unlikely group of citizens expressing their sorrow at our loss and their support of law enforcement,” a post on the Gwinnett County Police Department’s Facebook page reads. “The return address on the envelope is our own because the letter was sent by a group of inmates currently housed in our jail.”
The nearly two-page letter was appropriately titled “With All Due Respect.” Even more appropriate was the timing of the post, which fell one day before Veterans Day, as the letter includes a tribute to the entire “G.C.S.O Brotherhood.”
“This was a tragic incident that never should have occurred. And although law enforcement and criminals may be considered opposites, the intrinsic value of a human life transcends those boundaries by far,” the letter reads. “It is from this standpoint, in a spirit of gratitude and utmost respect that I submit this letter to honor all police officers, military personnel, and first responders. Your service and sacrifice make the world a better place for all.”
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “The message of kindness, empathy and appreciation for the heroes who serve the law enforcement and military communities is certainly one worth sharing. We appreciate this kind gesture and the spirit of unity in which it was sent.”
As for the inmates who sent it, the spokesperson also says, “While they had no way of knowing that a private letter would garnish national attention, they are proud that their message of unity is being shared with many people. We hope people are listening.”
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