Nephew of man killed by deputy pens heartfelt letter to officer

“You did nothing wrong; hopefully you can move past this tragedy to continue your duties as an officer that serves the community to the best of your ability”


By Ashley Silver

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. — Although one family is still grieving the loss of their loved one, who was shot and killed during an incident earlier this month, they understand the tough decision a Habersham County deputy had to make in the blink of an eye.

According to 11 Alive News, the nephew of 39-year-old Anthony Tollison penned a moving letter to the deputy who shot his uncle after the officer was “confronted by a man with a weapon” when responding to a call earlier this month. The officers were dispatched to the home due to a concerned caller stating, “Someone at the home had a gun,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. The 911 call was disconnected and deputies couldn’t reach anyone once they arrived at the home.

“You were forced into a situation that no one should ever have to face,” Tollison’s nephew wrote in the letter to the deputy. "We cannot imagine the emotions and thoughts you are now facing from that night that will affect you for the rest of your life. For that we are sorry. In our eyes you did nothing wrong.”

The family was reportedly shocked by Tollison’s behavior that day, noting it was out of the norm for him to act in an aggressive manner.

"He had his moments where he would be down and out of it, but we could always reel him back to the person we knew," he wrote. "He was happy and special. He was our rock when we needed him.”

He went on to state that no officer or family should have to bear this burden alone, offering solace to the officer for the choice he was forced to make.

The man ended his letter stating: “From our family to yours, we are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We hope that you can move past this tragic event and continue with your duties as an officer who we know protects and serves the community to the best of your abilities. Bravery is not absence of fear but action in the face of fear."

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