JACKSONVILLE, Florida – About a dozen members of the Jacksonville Northside Coalition and members of the religious community plan to observe the events during the Orange Crush Festival over the weekend.
In a letter to the media, Ben Frazier, the head of the rights group, expressed concern about the decision of the Jacksonville sheriff’s office to seek help from surrounding counties for temporary housing for inmates.
Frazier’s statement reads: “We are disturbed by the sheriffs [sic] action (additional room in Duval County Jail) in anticipation of this event. Why is that?”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office called it a “precautionary measure.”
Frazier has said he would like Williams to assure him that those at the festival will be treated fairly by law enforcement officials.
Williams released a statement which reads:
“I have no doubts that the men and women of JSO will provide an exceptional level of service to our residents and visitors for this busy weekend. As always, JSO is here to help anyone in need. We want everyone to have a safe and fun weekend.
To make sure officers do their due diligence, Frazier said coalition members will attend some of the Orange Crush events.
“They are there to monitor not only the people who are there, to offer them advice, but to keep the peace,” Frazier said.
Frazier said he has contacted State Representative Angie Nixon who he said is also concerned. He said that together they have received commitments from members of the faith community to travel to several events to act as impartial observers.
“History research has shown and proven that many members of the black community are often overpolished,” Nixon said. “This is something we don’t want to happen. We do not want children who are, many of whom are in university, arrested and ruining their lives perhaps because their civil rights have been violated.
The festival organizer expects 20,000 people to attend Orange Crush events.
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