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Plane flies Confederate flag and message to Mayor Curry after his window is apparently shot

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Will Brown
/
WJCT News
What appears to be a bullet hole is seen in the fourth-floor window of Mayor Lenny Curry's Office.

A bullet appears to have been shot at Mayor Lenny Curry's office window at City Hall this week.

As the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were investigating Tuesday morning, a charter plane pulled a Confederate flag and banner criticizing the mayor over Downtown, repeating a similar stunt before the Nov. 27 Jacksonville Jaguars game.

The mayor's office had no comment Tuesday on the window damage, when it might have been caused, or who discovered it, other than "we are grateful to JSO for investigating this matter." As of this story's publication, Curry has not addressed either the window or the banner on Twitter, his favored public platform.

City Councilman Matt Carlucci, who was in the mayor's office on Tuesday morning, called what happened "despicable."

"To put our mayor's life in danger, of course, is an outrage," Carlucci said. "I can tell you that I don't want anyone taking a shot at anyone at City Hall, and I sure don't want them taking a shot at my mayor."

Confederate flag files with message Tuesday morning

Tuesday morning's banner, with a Confederate flag leading the charge, read "Curry, Stop Your Hate!" It also included the web address for Save Southern Heritage Inc., which calls itself a voluntary association of people who "revere the South, Southern history and Southern heritage," and want to see it preserved.

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Will Brown
/
WJCT News
The Confederate flag banner and the message for Mayor Lenny Curry as it flew Tuesday morning over downtown Jacksonville.

The group claimed responsibility for the earlier banner flown over the football game, which read "Put Monuments Back." It alluded to the city's removal of a monument to a Confederate soldier that sat across from City Hall in what was then called Hemming Park, since renamed James Weldon Johnson Park.

Curry condemned the earlier display, tweeting, "There is no place for hate of any kind in our City." He also noted that he has allocated money for removal of other Confederate monuments from public property and "empowered" the City Council to take action. But the Council has not taken action on monuments since.

When asked by Jacksonville Today about the Nov. 27 plane banner, Gov. Ron DeSantis last week in Jacksonville called it the work of “some jabroni that nobody cares about.” 

Bullet through mayor's window?

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Dan Scanlan
/
WJCT News
The bullet hole is in a fourth floor window, seven to the right of City Hall's main entrance, visible one floor above the building's spotlight array across from James Weldon Johnson Park.

The mayor’s office said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident when asked on Tuesday morning. The Sheriff's Office had no comment, referring to a police report filed just after 11 a.m. on Monday in response to a call from a City Council staff member.

That report does not mention a bullet hole, only the discovery of "some bullet casings" in James Weldon Johnson Park on Monday morning.

"The complainant stated that she was walking through the park during her break when she came across the casings and she contacted JSO immediately," the report said. "Per HQ there have not been any persons shot calls or discharged firearms since 11/8." (That refers to an earlier police report which is not available right now. )

It is not clear whether the banner and the window incidents are connected.  

This is not the first time this year that City Hall windows have been damaged.

In early February, someone used a piece of steel rebar to smash 20 windows on the ground floor, JSO said. A 62-year-old man was found face down on the street outside City Hall and charged with criminal mischief, according to WJCT News partner News4Jax.

Corrected: This story incorrectly said the Jaguars game where the first banner was flown was on Nov. 28 instead of Nov. 27.

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at dscanlan@wjct.org, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.