Jax Sheriff: Gary Snow a 'catalyst' of Hemming Park protest melee - Florida Politics

Jax Sheriff: Gary Snow a ‘catalyst’ of Hemming Park protest melee

A Jacksonville protest against military action in Syria went ugly Friday evening; many protesters were arrested, with one getting medical treatment.

Meanwhile, counter-protester Gary Snow, a fixture for almost a year at left-leaning Jacksonville protests, as well as political events on the right, escaped without charges.

However, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told us Tuesday that Snow, in fact, was a “catalyst” of the melee in Hemming Park between protesters and police — and that the JSO is reviewing video of the event along with its procedures.

“That event Friday — he clearly was a catalyst” for the violence that occurred, Williams said.

“We had dozens and dozens of protests in Jacksonville, peacefully. We’ve got a great working relationship with the Progressive Coalition and many other groups in that protest.”

When asked about the “incite to riot” charges against some of the protesters on the other side, who had been baited by Snow, as well as at Florida Statute prohibiting interruption of lawful assembly, Williams noted that the ultimate fate of those charges — and potentially others — rest on documentary evidence.

“We have about 15 videos right now, and we’re going to look at every aspect of that,” Williams said. “Including ‘is there anyone who did not get charged who should be charged,’ so we’re going to look at that and see, in addition to looking at operational fixes for us.”

“Obviously, we got multiple complaints about uses of force. Those complaints go to Internal [Affairs] with those videos, and we’ll take another look at that. But before we finish, there will be another protest in Jacksonville,” Williams said, necessitating “immediate fixes” along with process review, both internally and in collaboration with the State Attorney’s Office.

“For this one to go the way that it did, there’s no excuse for it. We’ve all got to do a better job of taking a step back and do the right things. And we’re going to do that too — going to look at how we handle protests,” Williams added.

“It’s a new dynamic for us.”

Some allege, without proof, collaboration or friendship between Snow and officers.

That’s news to the Sheriff.

“None that I know of,” Williams said. “I don’t think — I haven’t heard Gary Snow’s name until Saturday. I don’t think he has any real connection to police officers.”

“He does come to communities like he did in Chicago and try to befriend, try to do that type of thing,” he added.


  1. Oh, Sheriff Williams never hear of Gary Snow before? Huh… funny he should say that but – (picture of them together, all buddy buddy)https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9JTRF4WsAAQiM0.jpg

  2. You have got to be kidding me. You have let this go on unabated for so long that the eyes of the world are now on you

    1. A catalyst? Interesting, how many spouse abusers could use the same excuse, that their spouse just kept nagging them so much that they deserved getting beat. Yes he is an ass, but it doesn’t give anyone on the Right or Left from throwing punches and then resisting arrest and hitting police officers. And the Progressives took the bait, and with a convicted child molester in their ranks to make the news, they have really lost the PR battle except with their wing nuts.

  3. Actually Williams did not say he didn’t know him. What he said was this was the first time he heard his name. It is not uncommon for people to pose with authority figures during campaigns. He probably does not even remember the picture. Snow also posed with John Rutherford, someone Rutherford had never met before.

  4. I have been to several peaceful protests in Jacksonville. Gary Snow has been at every single one doing everything he could do to incite violence. He gets right up in people’s faces yelling obscenities and sticking out his middle finger in protester’s faces. He holds his phone up to record reactions to his obnoxious behavior so he can post this to his FB page. After several “meant to be peaceful marches and rallies” he finally got what he wanted. People have been so patient with his disgusting antics, trying their best to ignore him, but he finally got what he was trying his hardest to achieve. He got away with it, gloating as he sat on a police car surrounded by JSO officers as if they were working together to silence peaceful protests. I’ve seen several videos and still photos of the Friday evening melee. I’m not certain how it started but I am certain that if Gary Snow had not been there, five people would not have been beaten and arrested!

  5. These officers seem to be sympathetic to the Trump supporter who was also gathering illegally but not arrested.   This is a reflection of how much control and respect JSO Sheriff Williams has over his department and it looks like he is not much in control nor respected. 

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