Jacksonville protests FL governor’s anti-protester bill, demands justice for victims of police crimes
Jacksonville, FL – On November 21, the Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC), alongside other organizations and over 250 community members, gathered at the Duval County Courthouse to rally against the repressive and undemocratic legislative proposal by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, as well as the killing of 18-year-old Devon Tillman Gregory by four Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officers: Nicholas McDonald, James Mills, Aaron Roe and Brandon Shea.
In attendance were the family of Devon Tillman Gregory, and the mother of Vernell Bing, who was killed in 2016 by killer cop Tyler Landreville. Tawana Myrick, Devon’s mother, and other family members expressed their anger and pain over Devon being killed by JSO, with over 30 shots reportedly being fired.
Devon Tillman Gregory’s cousin, Tina Rhiles, powerfully reflected that before the killing of Devon, it was easier to show support from a distance, but now that must change, saying, “before this, we were sharing, and were at home. But now we know. Last week we were the people that were at home, and not out here. This week, we are here with you, and every other week, and every other time we will be here.”
The same sentiments were echoed by Ms. Shirley, who directed her words to Sheriff Mike Williams: “Leave our kids alone! Stop taking from us! And Mike I told you, Landreville was gonna kill again and that's what the hell he did, and you still let him come back in our community. But you better get him out of it, we’re tired.”
Speakers also articulated opposition to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposal for the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” which seeks to institute mandatory minimums for protesters, alongside other amendments, including those that seek to retroactively legalize vehicular homicide of protesters.
Christina Kittle with the JCAC encouraged attendees to get ready to go to Tallahassee to protest this legislative proposal, reminding them that “this bill would make everything that we gained this summer, all of the momentum that we got started here in Jacksonville, illegal. So the 74 protesters who were brutalized, gassed and unlawfully detained by JSO this summer would have felony charges, trumped-up charges. The bill would also have made raising bail for them illegal.”