Human rights organization places ‘body bags’ on steps of JSO headquarters

Group's dramatic display to represent those killed by police officers

Demonstrators set up body bags on the steps to JSO headquarters
Demonstrators set up body bags on the steps to JSO headquarters (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A human rights organization called The Kemetic Empire staged a peaceful but dramatic protest Thursday morning outside Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. They placed what were made to look like body bags on the steps of the building representing those shot and killed officers to bring attention to calls for transparency in police-involved shootings.

“These bags represent hundreds of people who were killed by JSO,” said Diallo Sekou, the group’s chairman. “I have over 28 pages of here of names good and so-called bad of people who have been murdered or killed by JSO.”

The Kemetic Empire said the family of Jamme Johnson, a FAMU student shot and killed in a traffic stop in Jacksonville, and the father of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot when confronted outside Brunswick by an ex-officer and his son, would be in attendance.

The protest was intentionally planned for July 2 to mark the anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race.

Sekou released a list of demands.

  • Audit JSO to determine if the agency racially profiles black youth and adults
  • End qualified immunity for officers
  • End confidential records restrictions
  • Cap JSO funding
  • End low-level arrests
  • Repeal law enforcement bill of rights
  • End racist environment and practices
  • End militarization
  • Jail police officers who broke the law
  • Provide public documentation of body camera policies
  • Send more funding towards community programs

With signs in tow, demonstrations called for several changes within the sheriff’s office.

“We’re out here today to continue to fight for systemic racism that exists in JSO and most police departments across the country,” Sekou said. “We’re also here to remember those who were murdered who still have not gotten justice. For example, Jamme Johnson’s family is still awaiting body camera footage; still waiting on the arrests -- any arrests -- and we understand there may not be any arrests for Jamme Johnson.” Sekou said.

News4Jax reached out to JSO for comment about the issues raised and the group’s requests for change. We will update this story when someone responds.

About the Authors: