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Historic mobilization in Jacksonville, over 3500 take the streets demanding justice

By staff |
June 1, 2020
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Massive Jacksonville, FL protest against police crimes.
Massive Jacksonville, FL protest against police crimes. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Jacksonville, FL - In an historic mobilization, over 3500 people took the streets in coordination with the National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression national day of action, May 30 to protest against police crimes committed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). This was one of the largest demonstrations seen in Jacksonville in decades. The people of Jacksonville were also protesting in solidarity with the uprisings happening in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Los Angeles for African Americans like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The protests were led by the Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC), The Northside Coalition and other local organizations took part.

Protesters marched on E Bay Street, past the city jail, and took the steps of the sheriff’s office.

Victims of JSO's terror campaign in the Black community were given the platform to speak in front of thousands of eager demonstrators. The families of Jamee Johnson, Vernell Bing Jr, Jalen Mays, Kwamae Jones and Brittany Williams were all present. Jamee Johnson's family pleaded with the community to keep the pressure on JSO to release the body camera footage in their son's murder by JSO. Brianna William's sister spoke passionately about how JSO illegally entered her sister's private property and viciously beat her sister.

The community demands were:

1. JSO release all unedited body camera footage for the community in all cases of police murder and police brutality.

2. The end of all excessive force by JSO. Community control of the police through a civilian police accountability council

3. Public transparency regarding the state of COVID-19 in the city jails and the release of inmates during the pandemic.

An hour after the main protest ended, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office began a campaign of releasing tear gas and shooting the remaining protesters with rubber bullets. Many people were arrested without warning and brutalized.

The JCAC has established a community support fund to support those brutalized by JSO here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/CommunitySupportFund

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