Katherine Lewin, Florida Times-Union, July 7, 2022
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has made it clear on social media that the department is planning to enforce a revised law in Florida that was ruled unconstitutional in its previous form in 2012.
But some Duval residents are concerned about how the revised law, which went into effect July 1, could impact people of color, low-income residents and civil rights as a whole.
Ben Frazier, president of Jacksonville’s Northside Coalition, a local social justice advocacy group, says officers could unequally enforce the law and concentrate primarily on certain areas in town where there are more Black residents.
“Immediately it came to my mind that there was a definitive racial overtone to this new law,” Frazier said. “That flavor is unmistakable and cannot be denied. My immediate reaction was, ‘Wow, the white power structure strikes again.'”
“The enforcement of this law will be discriminatory and it will result in still more Black folks being arrested disproportionately,” Frazier said. “If the cops say you’re playing your radio too loudly, they can write you … a noncriminal traffic infraction. But we all know that for some folks, many of whom will be Black, it will likely lead to jail time. This is a direct attack on Black folks and it is especially insensitive considering the vicious and senseless murder of Jordan Davis.”
On November 23, 2012, Jordan Davis, a Black 17-year-old high school student, was murdered at a Gate gas station in Jacksonville by Michael David Dunn after an argument over loud music played by Davis and his friends.