JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Community Action Committee on Tuesday afternoon joined together with other local organizations for a rally, demanding the Jacksonville City Council reinstate its “Safer Together” committee.
The rally outside City Hall comes after Council President Sam Newby sent a note to Council members, which said that the work of the Safer Together committee was complete.
“No,no, don’t hesitate, reinstate!”— Brie Isom (@BrieIsomWJXT) October 26, 2021
Community activists are rallying outside City Hall for reinstatement of the Safer Together committee. They say they need “police accountability now.” The committee was removed last week by city council. @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/T7xFUl4ICO
Members of the Jacksonville Northside Coalition, including its president, Ben Frazier, were part of the rally.
“The work is not done. The work for this committee is much needed and necessary,” Frazier said.
Frazier and many others spoke in favor of the committee during the Tuesday City Council meeting.
“We want change, but how do you establish change? Number one: You need accountability across the board,” said Carnell Oliver, a Jacksonville resident.
The committee was organized in 2020 as a way to bridge the gap of trust and improve relationships between the police and the community.
One person, Seber Newsome -- a Yulee resident -- said he supported the move to end the committee.
“I applaud the two City Council members that said the Safer Together comittee was done,” he said.
Councilwoman Joyce Morgan led the Safer Together committee with Councilman Michael Boylan.
Before Newby sent the note to Council members, Boylan announced his resignation from the committee. It followed a heated exchange of the possible implementation of a Citizens Review Board. Boylan said most of the people who have been involved in workshops do not trust law enforcement and that he didn’t see a real path forward for tangible change.