Family and friends protest death of man killed by deputy

Photo by  Family and friends of Jessie J. Mills gathered on the courthouse steps following a parade along Knox Street.
Photo by
Family and friends of Jessie J. Mills gathered
on the courthouse steps following a parade along
Knox Street.

Police lights, car horns and shouts of injustice interrupted the normally calm atmosphere of the Courthouse Square Monday, July 11.

In wake of the death of Jessie J. Mills, a Flat Lick man who was killed last month, family and friends of the deceased man were granted a permit to perform a peaceful protest in front of the courthouse. The group of 25 individuals marched on Knox Street from Union Plaza, around the square and ended on the courthouse steps where they stood, chanting ‘Justice for Jessie.’ The group then proceeded back down Knox Street to Union Plaza.

“We just want justice for my son,” said Pearly Sue Gambrel, the mother of Jessie Mills.

Mills was killed during an altercation with Knox County Deputy Mikey Ashurst and Knox County Constable Brandon Bolton. According to information obtained from Kentucky State Police, Deputy Ashurst and Constable Bolton responded to a report of a child abduction at Stinking Creek around 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, June 29. Mills was allegedly under the influence, and had taken his two-year-old child from a residence on Moore Creek Road. When Mills refused to release the two-year-old child, the situation escalated resulting in Mills’ death.

The investigation is ongoing, but according to KSP, the officials acted in accordance to protocol. Mills’ family, however, is claiming that the situation could have been handled differently.

“The news has covered that he was intoxicated,” said Jeanetta Gambrel, Mills’ step-aunt, “but there was eyewitnesses at the scene that he was down and they could have restrained him. But, they let that time go by and ended up killing him.”