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Black community in Baker County marches for justice

By staff |
April 22, 2018
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March for justice in Baker County.
March for justice in Baker County. (Fight Back! News/staff)

MacClenny, FL - On April 21, around 150 community members and activists, as well as the family of Dominic Broadus II, marched to the Baker County Courthouse to call for justice.

On Feb. 3, Broadus II was found murdered execution-style with three bullet wounds to his head on property that belongs to the Fraser family, a very powerful family in Baker County. Gardner Fraser, who was well known in MacClenny for his violent behavior, was terminated from North East Florida Hospital for breaking a patient’s jaw. Fraser is the son of a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) Deputy Ryan T. Fraser, who was fired for shooting an unarmed Black man, and then rehired by the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, from which he eventually retired. Ryan T. Fraser, before joining the JSO, was forced to resign after hitting a car, leading to the death of a young woman. Gardner Fraser is also the grandson of Edwin Fraser, who the MacClenny hospital is named after. These connections are the main reason why protesters say there has been no arrest, given how politically connected the main suspect is.

“If the main suspect was Black, that person would already been in jail, but since the killer is white and connected to the sheriff’s department and a politically powerful family, you see this injustice,” said Joshua Parks of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, one of the march leaders.

Protesters met at the Emmanuel Church oh God and Christ and marched to the Baker County Courthouse a mile away, where a rally was held in front. Protesters’ chants included, “All night, all day, we gonna march for DJ,” “No Justice, no peace, Gardner Fraser off the streets,” “All eyes in Baker County,” as well as “Justice for DJ.”

At the courthouse, clergy, other victims’ families and the mother of Dominic Broadus II spoke to the crowd. She thanked everyone for their participation and urged everyone to keep up the fight to get justice for her son.

“This was very constructive,” said Hakeem Balogun, a community member who came from Jacksonville to protest. “The sheriff knows and the people know what is happening and they, the justice system, need to do what’s right before it gets worse for them.”

The community vowed to keep protesting and pressuring the State Attorney William Cervone to file charges against Gardner Fraser as well as rid the Baker County Sheriff’s Department of its racial bigotry, corruption and nepotism.

Be sure to follow the campaign on Facebook at “Justice4DjBroadus” for more updates on the next steps in this important struggle against the national oppression of African Americans in the Deep South.