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Jacksonville activists demand community control of the police

By staff |
June 4, 2017
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Rally in Jacksonville for community control of the police. (Fight Back! news/staff)

Jacksonville, FL - Around 30 members of the Northside Coalition and the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition (JPC) rallied in downtown Jacksonville, June 1, for community control of the police. Northside Coalition leader Ben Frazier spoke on why we need more police accountability in the city of Jacksonville.

Protesters are calling for the creation of a Jacksonville Police Accountability Council, a community-represented oversight board with investigative powers to review Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police crimes, along the with hiring powers and the ability to fire corrupt officers. Protesters say they have modeled this plan after similar legislation in Chicago, where activists are pushing for a similar accountability council.

Longtime JPC leader Wells Todd said, "This is the first of many rallies we are going to have to push for this accountability council."

Leaders led chants of "Black lives matter" and "No justice no peace."

After the rally, protesters then walked over to a town hall meeting that JSO Sheriff Mike Williams was having around a body cam pilot program, to make their demands around JPAC known and why body cams aren't enough.

"The sheriff wants to introduce body cams as a means to pacify the people but that isn't enough and it can even lead to more police surveillance," said Mike Todd, Jacksonville community activist. "We want community control of the police in Jacksonville and we won't stop till we get it."