God has called upon us to care for the least, the last and the lost.
–Pastor James Wiggins, Former Co-President of ICARE
Problem: . We want people to feel protected by the police, not afraid of them. Likewise, we want officers to have strong relationships with the community. Therefore, Jacksonville’s Sheriff Office must take responsibility for building trust with the public.
Member of our congregations shared stories about being pulled over for no reason, ignored when they reported a crime or mistreated by officers in a variety of ways. People feel powerless to hold police accountable, and local data about this problem is not easily accessible. We want increase access to public information and data- a website is a very straight forward way to do this. So we will be asking our Sheriff to enhance JSO’s open data website to include data on things like officer misconduct and complaints, crime trends, officer’s stops, clearance rates, correctional officer complaints, injuries of citizens while in custody, etc… And we want our State Attorney to develop an open information website that includes things like prosecution trends and conviction trends of law enforcement, these trends in Jacksonville more broadly, data on plea deals, etc. We also want it to be user-friendly.
What We Want on the JSO and SAO Transparency Website by Nehemiah Action 2019
Use of force by demographic (age, gender, race), geography (zip code), date, time and officer
Patrol and correction officer complaints by demographic (age, gender, race), geography (zip code), date, time and officer identifier (after internal affairs investigation is complete)
General officer and corrections complaint data by date, time, demographic (age, gender, race), geography (zip code)
General crime data and clearance rate by demographic (age, gender, race), geography (zip code), date, time and crime type
Injuries of citizens while in custody by demographic (age, gender, race), time, date and geography (zip code)
Traffic and Pedestrian stop data by demographic (age, gender, race), time, date and geography (zip code)
Assaults on officers by demographic (age, gender, race), time, date and geography (zip code)
Officer demographics (age, gender, race)
Officer participation in JSO sanctioned community programs and initiatives (by percentage of JSO personnel)
General Orders for JSO personnel (can be in PDF form)
State Attorney Nelson
Number of Calls to the Humans Rights Hotline by month and category
The categories should be elder abuse, police complaints, human trafficking and hate crimes.
Charges and convictions of officers by count, officer identifier, crime type, date and result
General charge and conviction data of circuit by demographic (age, gender, race), date, geography (zip-code) and crime type
Prosecutor participation in SAO sanctioned community programs and initiatives (by percentage of SAO personnel)
Both the Sheriff and State Attorney agreed to publish these websites and we will work with them in the coming months on their timeline.
The clearest numeric data we have illustrating why Black folks in our community cannot trust the police is the “Walking While Black” article. That article points out two huge problems: 1) Our police officers don’t understand jaywalking laws & 353 jaywalking tickets were wrongly issued and 2) 48% of those were to black people. The Sheriff has said that his reason for enforcing these laws is public safety, but we don’t believe public safety requires costly fines. Laws around biking and pedestrian activity are extremely complicated and largely inaccessible. So we want the Sheriff to shift his focus to public education, and stop issuing citations that require fines for jaywalking and bicycling on the sidewalk.
The sheriff refused to stop issuing jaywalking citations or decrease them. But he did agree to address the racial disparity in tickets.