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Jacksonville police murder unarmed young Black man, neighborhood fights back

Community demands justice for Vernell Bing Jr.
By Dave Schneider and Fernando Figueroa |
May 25, 2016
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Jacksonville protest demands justice for Vernell Bing Jr.
Jacksonville protest demands justice for Vernell Bing Jr. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Jacksonville, FL - On May 22, a white deputy from Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) murdered 22-year-old Vernell Bing Jr. in Springfield, one of the city's historic Black neighborhoods. Bing was unarmed and fleeing the scene of a car crash when JSO officer Tyler L. Landreville shot him in the head. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead the next day after losing brain function.

Several eyewitnesses to the murder say the shooting took place at a close range. To date, JSO has given no reason for why officer Landreville shot Bing. Nevertheless, JSO placed Landreville on paid administrative leave.

The shooting occurred at the corner of 9th and Liberty Street in historic Springfield, one of Jacksonville's largest Black neighborhoods.

Within minutes, community members responded and began planning actions to demand justice. Since then, the community has held vigils and rallies at the scene of the murder each night.

On May 24 at 2 p.m., Bing's family and organizers from the Kemetic Empire held a press conference at City Hall demanding that officer Landreville be fired, arrested and tried for murder.

Later that evening, more than 100 people from the community rallied at the corner of 9th and Liberty for a vigil. Chanting, “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” the crowd called on State Attorney Angela Corey to indict Landreville for murder.

“This fight is a long fight because we're battling a systemic issue,” said Diallo Sekou, chairman of the Kemetic Empire. “We are specifically targeting JSO and the cop who killed Vernell Bing. We want the cops arrested and charged with murder. We want body cameras and cameras in police cars. And we want an independent investigation into not only this case, but also past cases of police brutality.”

Bing's family and the community plan to rally at the same street corner every night until justice is won, and invite supporters to come participate. They encourage supporters to use the hashtag #Justice4LilRedd on social media.