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Jacksonville marches to demand justice for D’Angelo Stallworth

By Kevin Bevel |
May 30, 2015
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Marching to demand justice for D’Angelo Stallworth
Marching in front of the Pre-trial Detention Facility to demand justice for D’Angelo Stallworth (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Jacksonville, FL - About 200 demonstrators gathered at the Jacksonville Landing, May 30, to demand justice for D’Angelo Stallworth. Stallworth was murdered by deputies of the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office (JSO).

On May 12, at Planters Walk Apartments, Stallworth was shot six times in the back by deputies who were serving an eviction notice at another apartment. He was unarmed and not a suspect. Reports of the incident from the police are full of contradictions and apparent falsifications.

In the wake of protests against police brutality nationwide, organizers urged participants to honor the memory of Stallworth by protesting peacefully, but also passionately demanding answers and accountability. According to Andrea Grant, one of the event organizers who gave protesters a yellow wristband and asked them for contact information for future events, said that this protest was organized by friends and family and was made possible by members of the community contacting the Stallworth family offering support. "We're out here to raise awareness," Grant said, "He was unarmed. We're not going to let them sweep this under the rug."

In attendance was the Stallworth family's attorney, Eric Black. According to Black, the family ordered an independent autopsy on D'Angelo, and the findings prove that the officers involved in the killing have falsified information. The autopsy indicated that the deputies’ bullets entered D’Angelo’s body from behind. “There’s a dispute over a gun, JSO says they found a gun on the balcony,” Black said, shaking his head. “This is the fifth or sixth time something like this has happened in Jacksonville this year.”

While it is premature to say whether Stallworth’s family will file suit against JSO, Black stated, “We want to know what happened and why.”

While most demonstrators attended the rally to protest institutional racism and the continued attacks on unarmed black men, many of the people attending the march knew and respected D'Angelo Stallworth personally.

"He was a family man, with three kids and they left him there to die, they didn't try to resuscitate," one of the organizers, who declined to provide her name, said. "He was a model citizen, and we all respected him," said Jermaine Willis, one of the attendees who said D'Angelo was "a close family friend." Jermaine brought his young son to the march. "He already knows what's going on." A sizable number of children attended the rally, many of them wearing of them wearing "Justice4Dee" shirts.

After protesters gathered on the corner of Hogan and Water Streets, they were led in a moment of silence for Stallworth. They then marched through mild rain to the Police Memorial Building (JSO headquarters) and to Jacksonville Pre-trial Detention Facility, chanting "JSO lied!" "Killer cops have got to go!" and "Justice for D!"

The mood among the demonstrators was hopeful as the march ended. Organizers stated that they will be working with prominent civil rights activists as their pursuit of justice continues, and they will be contacting the press next week. "It's time for the people of Jacksonville to take a stand against police crime," stated Tefa Tamburo, a member of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. "We want answers - and indictments."

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