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Jacksonville stimulus distribution pushed back after downtown violence

Appointments delayed to ensure safety of city residents and employees, spokesperson says

Downtown Jacksonville protest begins as peaceful protest, then confrontation unfolds between lingering crowd and police.
Downtown Jacksonville protest begins as peaceful protest, then confrontation unfolds between lingering crowd and police.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville has canceled its appointments Sunday with those seeking help with mortgages and rent after rioting erupted downtown Saturday.

Appointments for the mortgage, rent and utility relief program were scheduled for Sunday at the Jacksonville Library and Ed Ball building. Instead, they’re being postponed until next weekend.

In an email Saturday, a city spokeswoman said the decision was made to delay those appointments “in order to ensure the safety of relief recipients and City of Jacksonville employees.”

What began with a peaceful demonstration calling for police transparency Saturday afternoon turned ugly when a smaller group of individuals clashed with police, attacking officers and vandalizing property, officials said. The sheriff said an officer was stabbed and others were hurt by projectiles.

The city spokesperson said residents with appointments whose last names begin with the letters A through M will be moved to next Saturday, June 6, at the Ed Ball building on Hogan Street. Appointments for those whose last names begin with N through Z will have make-up dates on Sunday, June 7, at the Ed Ball building.