Green Party of Duval County
4/17/17 PRESS RELEASE:
Statement concerning events at Hemming park on April 7, 2017 #Jax5
On Friday night, April 7th, at Hemming Park a peaceful assembly was disrupted by a known agitator. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers then rushed the demonstration and began arresting people.
With their actions, we believe:
-The Sheriff’s officers ignored the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Florida.
-The Sheriff’s office targeted political activists that they had been tracking through constitutionally questionable means.
-The Sheriff’s office ignored a racist agitator’s actions and unlawful activity. Instead they attacked and violently arrested a black man who was the target of the white man’s aggressions.
-The Sheriff’s officers lost control of their own behavior and brutally attacked innocent bystanders.
-The Sheriff’s officers deliberately ignored information about an arrested individual’s disability and potentially violated that person’s civil rights.
These actions were compounded by the discovery this week of a lawsuit filed against the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office for violating the rights of a deaf person and by the settlement of a lawsuit for the violent shooting of an unarmed black man. In that settlement, it was revealed that an openly racist officer had not only served, but prospered, within the Sheriff’s office, rising to the rank of Sergeant.
For these reasons the Green Party of Duval County is calling for:
-An immediate public apology by Sheriff Williams.
-The State Attorney to drop all charges against the Hemming Park (Jax) 5.
-The Sheriff’s office to pay damages to the Hemming Park (Jax) 5 for violations of their rights and for the expenses, injuries and trauma they have incurred.
-An immediate and independent investigation of civil rights violations within the Sheriff’s office.
-An immediate start to an extensive program of cultural change within the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office emphasizing citizens’ rights and peaceful resolution tactics.
The Green Party’s core value statement outlines our beliefs in Nonviolence and Justice for all.
We call on Jacksonville’s elected officials to make the same commitment and follow through with concrete actions to ensure that all citizens of Jacksonville are treated lawfully and equally.
The Green Party's Key Values, including our strng support for Non-Violence and Social Justice, can be seen at gp.org.