A few nights later, Scout spots a roly-poly bug. Jem won't let her squash it because it didn't do anything to her. Scout remembers that Jem was present when Atticus told Helen Robinson that Tom had died, and Helen collapsed in grief.
The events of the trial have forced Jem to grow up. He no longer tolerates casual cruelty and respects all life, even insects.
That Thursday, Mr. Underwood publishes an editorial in his newspaper comparing Tom's death to the "senseless slaughter of songbirds."
Tom is implicitly compared to a mockingbird.
When he hears Tom has died, Bob Ewell is overheard saying "one down and about two more to go." The rest of the white people in Maycomb thinks it's just like a black man to try and escape even though he has an appeal pending, and soon moves on to other things.
Maycomb still hides behind racism. Tom ran because he'd lost hope in the justice system, and for good reason. But the people of Maycomb just think of him as a black man who has no sense.