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Jacksonville press conference on Jax5 and police accountability

By Fernando Figueroa |
May 10, 2017
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Jacksonville, FL – Activists with the Justice for the Jax5 Committee hosted a press conference, May 10, outside of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) building to discuss important developments for the Jax5 and the struggle against police crimes in Jacksonville. The Jax5 are the five activists brutalized and arrested by the JSO during a demonstration calling for peace with Syria on April 7.

Organizers of the press conference called upon State Attorney Melissa Nelson to drop the remaining charges on the Jax5 and conduct a full investigation into the brutality and abuses that occurred on April 7. The Jax5 were originally supposed to have their first day in court on May 1, but that date was moved – first to May 10 and again to May 17.

Inside the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, several important civil rights leaders and activists met with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and raised the issue with them. They also presented for the first time in Jacksonville an outlined demand for a Jacksonville Police Accountability Council or JPAC, modeled after similar legislation being fought for by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Sheriff Mike Williams gave no concrete responses to any of the demands raised.

“The State Attorney needs to drop the charges on the Jax5. The police are in theory supposed to work for the community around them. Holding those officers that commit crimes accountable fosters honesty, justice and transparency,” said Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) lead organizer Monique Williamson. Activists vowed to continue fighting for the charges on the Jax5 to be dropped and begin a citywide campaign for police accountability in Jacksonville.