JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Several Jacksonville civil rights activists met Tuesday night calling for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to stop jaywalking tickets all together.
This move comes in hopes a full investigation will be conducted into the agency midst allegations that JSO is ticketing African Americans three times more than whites for pedestrian violations in Jacksonville.
“Stop discriminating against us,” said Ben Frazier, President of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville (NCOJ).
He said he hopes his message is heard by city leaders and JSO.
Dozens of supports spoke during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting demanding JSO to stop citing citizens for jaywalking.
An investigation called Walking While Black by the Florida Times-Union and ProPublica found that nearly 60 percent of tickets issued by JSO went to African Americans, though they make up just 29 percent of the city's population.
“Many of our communities don’t even have side walks, they don’t even have lights but yet you’ll give us a ticket because were going across the street,” said Glorias Johnson, NCOJ member.
First Coast News asked City Council President Anna Brosche if she thought African-Americans in Jacksonville are being discriminated against by JSO.
“The studies speak for themselves in terms of what’s going on and I look forward to working with the sheriff to understand exactly the policies that exist and how they’re being carried out by his law enforcement officers,” Brosche said.
Meanwhile, Frazier said his organization is not giving up.
“Tell the Sheriff to do the right thing, Mr. Mayor," he said. "Tell the sheriff to do the right thing, the same message should be annunciated by the Jacksonville City Council.”
Sheriff Mike Williams previously commented saying there hasn't been any targeting of African Americans or poor communities when it comes to writing pedestrian violation tickets.