JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Community Action Committee are holding a demonstration to urge the city to reinstate the recently disbanded Safer Together Committee.
The committee was formed in the aftermath of the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Earlier this month, vice-chair Michael Boylan resigned from the committee.
Boylan said in his letter asking City Council President Sam Newby to accept resignation that “disparaging assertions and unwarranted accusations" were made at the meeting on Oct. 15. He said the meeting prompted his resignation.
His resignation put the committee's future in jeopardy and was met with criticism from several community groups, including the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville.
"I think it is unfortunate that Mr. Boylan is unwilling to accept the responsibility of acting as a problem solver in this community, that's what we need," Frazier said. "But with that in mind, there's an old saying, if you can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen."
Committee President Joyce Morgan declared she is still dedicated to the goal of fostering better community relations.
“I am not for ending it just because tough conversations were had. they are needed in this community with all the issues that we are dealing with," Morgan explained. "We need the tough conversations."
To urge the city to continue the committee, community members are demonstrating outside city hall where the council is meeting.
"This committee was intended to allow the public to have a platform to
share their thoughts about how to make Jacksonville a safer city for all community members," the Jacksonville Community Action Committee says in a statement. "JCAC believes that community members should have a platform to engage in discussions about the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and we are opposed to any effort that revokes the ability for community members to have a say in their own city."