JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Protesters took to the streets Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville despite the rain and the threat for severe weather.
Local ministers in the African American community organized a peaceful march from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters to the Duval County Courthouse.
Organizers talked about injustices against the African American community and brought up things that they would like to see changed, both legislatively and within police forces. One thing they brought up was getting rid of bad officers, if there are some, within law enforcement agencies. Another idea brought up was making sure that an African American who is in court has the same access to a lawyer that a wealthier person of a different race might have, so they’re not essentially going to jail because they don’t have the best lawyers.
Dr. James White, with the Heritage Christian Center, was one of the ministers involved in organizing the march. News4Jax asked him whether he believed progress was being made after a week and a half of demonstrations.
“At this point, I think the attention is there now. And I think we have made some progress. There’s still a great deal for us to go," White said. “I’m hopeful that we can do it and Jacksonville can lead the way.”
Organizers also called on predominately white congregations to reach out and bridge the divide between church. They said they feel that might be a good start to working together.
Earlier in the day, Jacksonville elected officials took part in a demonstration Sunday outside City Hall and then a walk.
And in St. Johns County, protesters gathered in the JulingtonCreek area to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. Organizers said they realize they live in a predominantly white area but want to take a stand against racism and show support for their “brothers and sisters of color.“