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BREAKING: Interstate-Blocking Protesters Marching On Hart Bridge In Jacksonville

Denise Cox

  UPDATE: 5:13 p.m. News4Jax reports the protesters are marching on the Hart Bridge and are blocking westbound lanes. 

A handful of people who blocked Interstate 95 in Jacksonville Monday morning say they’re planning a second demonstration this evening but would not provide the location. The group’s morning-rush-hour protest near Emerson Street delayed commuters by up to an hour.  

The activists call themselves the Kemetic Empire. Their leader, Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, says the group will keep blocking traffic until law enforcement policies change.

“And that’s in unison with Ferguson, New York City, Atlanta, and everything else, with the brutal murders of black men around the country by the police officers," he says. 

Seabrooks organized what he called "Shut It Down Monday," echoing highway-blocking protests in other U.S. cities. He says similar actions will continue until the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office agrees to discuss changes including the creation of a civilian review board to oversee police. He says the peaceful protests are also meant to bring attention to unsolved murders in the black community. 

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office news release calls the protests "unlawful" and "unsafe." Drivers who blocked I-95 were ticketed, but no arrests were made, it says. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP