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Jacksonville rallies for D'angelo Stallworth, father and UPS employee murdered by cops

By Fernando Figueroa |
May 17, 2015
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  A few of D'Angelo Stallworth's friends and family gather for a group photo.
A few of D'Angelo Stallworth's closest friends and family gather for a group photo after the event. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
 Jacksonville Sheriffs deputies harass some of the rally organizers.
 The community rallies at a busy intersection.
Jacksonville Sheriffs deputies harass some of the rally organizers.
The community rallies at a busy intersection.

Jacksonville, FL - An unjust system promotes injustice until it is replaced with a better system. This current system is more clearly unjust in the Black community in the U.S., and caused tragedy to strike again in Jacksonville, Florida. A rally was held on May 16 to honor D'angelo Stallworth's memory and to fight for justice.

On May 12, two white Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) deputies murdered D'angelo Stallworth - father, friend and part-time supervisor at the Jacksonville UPS hub. Stallworth was shot several times in the back by JSO in his own complex, Planters Walk Apartments. The two deputies were serving an eviction notice to a nearby apartment and claim that Stallworth “looked suspicious.” The two officers confronted D'angelo, a confrontation that ended when the two officers shot Stallworth, killing him. Lawyers working on the case agree that various points of the officers’ stories seem contradictory and questionable. It seems that D'angelo has been another victim of being Black around a police officer, and the community has vowed to fight for justice and answers in Stallworth's case.

On May 16, friends, family including the victim's children, community members and fellow UPS workers gathered at Planters Walk Apartments, near a shrine made in Stallworth’s memory. The rally was organized mainly by family members. Some brought signs with pictures of Stallworth and many wore shirts that read “#Justice4Dee.” After about 70 protesters gathered, the crowd began marching, chanting, “Justice for Dee!” “Black lives matter!” and “What do we want? Answers! When do we want them? Now!” The crowd marched up to a busy intersection in front of Planters Walk Apartments. Protesters began waving their signs and continued chanting at the intersection for over two hours.

Some friends and relatives spoke to the crowd about their outrage and the need to fight for justice. One of Stallworth's relatives, Tamika Jones, spoke to the crowd, “We demand answers. D'Angelo was a father, a son, an employee, a lover. The police killed him for no reason.” One UPS employee brought a gift for Stallworth’s young son: a hat with Stallworth’s favorite basketball team, the L.A. Lakers. The crowd was very moved by this, especially since several of the UPS workers present at the rally where white and standing in solidarity with the largely Black crowd.

It wasn't long before three Jacksonville Sheriff's Office cars pulled up on the side of the road and began harassing the crowd of demonstrators. One UPS worker began chanting “Indict JSO! JSO lied!” and the crowd quickly joined him as the JSO officers tried quieting the protest down. The police spoke to a few of the protest organizers, who were mainly women related to Stallworth. The police knew that the crowd was angry and was going to continue demonstrating, so they stood far away from the crowd looking for excuses to move in and put an end to things. The crowd gave them no excuses and several protesters filmed the police as the demo continued for another half an hour.

As things began to wind down, a woman spoke out and thanked everyone for coming to support the fight for justice. A general consensus was reached that the next protest would happen in downtown Jacksonville near either the police station or the courthouse. The demo ended with a group prayer.

For more information and to get involved, please join the Facebook group: Justice 4 D'Angelo.