Demonstrators at drive-up protest demand ‘people’s budget’ & police accountability

There was a drive-up protest Saturday in downtown Jacksonville.
There was a drive-up protest Saturday in downtown Jacksonville. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Northside Coalition and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee are demanding a city budget for the people and police accountability.

On Saturday, there was a drive-up protest, with cars filling a lot near the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters.

Following social distancing guidelines, some participants stayed in their cars and rolled down their windows to hear the speakers.

People painted “People’s budget now” on car windows and held signs saying “So no to JSO budget.”

Ben Frazier with the Northside Coalition called the proposed budget weak and said it lacks the strength needed to revitalize underserved and marginalized communities.

“Consider this: By reallocating the JSO money proposed by the mayor by about 25% would actually free up $100 million. We want to see that money used for social and community services like a comprehensive mental health care response team. We need social workers responding to come of these police calls and not police officers coming there to escalate the situation,” Frazier told the crowd.

Speakers at the protest included the family of Jamee Johnson, Kwamae Jones and Leah Baker. All three were killed in Jacksonville police-involved shootings.

The mother of Baker said Saturday was her first time speaking in public about what happened to her daughter. She said she feels if a social worker responded, the situation would have been different.

News4Jax reached out to Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci to get a response to the budget and his feelings toward spending more money on mental health initiatives.

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