JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Jacksonville Brotherhood of Police Officers spoke Sunday afternoon at Lonnie Miller Park, condemning the actions of the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd and promising to make a difference in their community.
Floyd’s death has sparked outage, pain and unresolved conflicts in America and beyond against how some police officers interact with African Americans.
As people protest around the world, here at home local police officers are speaking out.
Jacksonville Brotherhood of Police Officers President Juanita Dixon said that being an officer does not stop people from treating them differently because they are African Americans. Dixon explained they, too, experience bias at work and in the community.
“We are all saddened and ashamed by this senseless act,” said Dixon.
Members of the Jacksonville Brotherhood of Police Officers said they are committed to fighting for better treatment for everyone who lives in Jacksonville.
“From this day forward, the Brotherhood of Police Officers will be more vocal in the black community,” Dixon said. “The current situation calls for action. We, the Brotherhood of Police Officers, vow to make a difference in our community. We vow to be a voice for equal treatment of our citizens.”
However, as minority officers, that does not stop people from treating them differently because they are African American. Dixon explained they too experience bias at work and in the community.
In the epicenter of the George Floyd conflict is the Minneapolis Police Department. City council is considering dismantling the force. Dixon disagrees.
“We think it’s a horrible idea to consider defunding police. What would our society be like without police officers? I think that’s a crucial part of society. We cannot have lawlessness,” said Dixon.
Instead, Dixon said there needs to be change within police departments and the community. Dixon and the officers that stand beside her plan to fight for that change through the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Jacksonville Brotherhood of Police Officers also made a pledge to the community. That pledge included bridging the gap between the community and police.