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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Community Action Committee held a rally in front of the Duval County Courthouse to demand justice for Tyre Nichols and others who have been victims of police brutality in America.
The rally was sparked after Memphis authorities released body camera and surveillance video showing five police officers beating Nichols after a traffic stop in early January, causing him to die from his injuries three days later.
JCAC along with other organizations held the rally to get the message across that police need to be held accountable for their actions, and community members want change. The organizations called for a public safety oversight committee to be formed.
“This is the bare minimum they can do to build trust between the community and the police right now. People tell the police how we want to interact with them,” Christina Kittle with JCAC said.
“No justice, no peace,” echoed throughout the rally.
Man speakers emphasized how seeing the video of Nichols being beaten was hard to watch.
“If we had a change for community control over things that the police have over us, I feel like we would be able to not only rest easier but find justice,” Alivia with Students of Democratic Society said.
Alivia said the organizations are going to try and get the oversight committee on the ballots so people can vote on bringing something like that to Jacksonville. which they hope can start to build more trust in police.
Saturday, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters condemned the officers’ actions, calling them ” reprehensible and inexcusable” in a statement:
“Like so many Americans, I am shocked and horrified by the images and reports regarding the actions that led to the tragic death of Tyree [sic] Nichols in Memphis. I have spent over half my life in law enforcement, and the actions of those officers are reprehensible and inexcusable. There is no policy in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or any law enforcement agency in this country that permits such brutality. Law enforcement officers are, first and foremost, public servants. Through their actions, those officers have abandoned their fundamental oaths to serve and protect.
I stand with our community in condemning this behavior. Those officers’ actions do not reflect the culture of law enforcement in our agency or in this country. We are a society of laws, and no one is above the law.
I along with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office send my deepest condolences to the family members and loved ones of Tyree Nichols. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
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