Leaders of Jacksonville’s Northside African-American community on Friday held a town hall to consider their response a traffic stop in which a Jacksonville police officer allegedly drew his gun on a Fernandina Beach minister and his nephew.
First Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Darien Bolden said he was pulled over at 19th Street and Boulevard Street late last month because of his car’s tinted windows. He said the situation went sideways when he tried to show the officer where he stores his licensed firearm.
“The next thing I know, my nephew’s shouting and he’s shouting, "Don’t reach for it!" I turn only to be facing the barrel of a 9mm Glock," he said.
Bolden said he was eventually released without a warning or ticket.
But Wells Todd with the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition called the incident an abuse of power and said the time for talk may be coming to an end.
“I think we need to start looking at a boycott. We also need to start looking at pulling together the unions in this town," Todd said. "And if we have to, we need to shut down things. We need to go on strike.”
A representative of the Jacksonville chapter of the NAACP says his organization is investigating the incident and hopes to meet with Sheriff Mike Williams.
And in an email, Northside Coalition spokesman Ben Frazier said, "The Coalition feels implementation of policy reforms like the Citizens Review Board is the only way to ensure police accountability and to prevent incidents like this from occurring."
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is conducting its own investigation of the traffic stop, as our partner News4Jax reports.
A request for comment from JSO was not returned by this story's deadline.