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Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office blasts ‘inaccurate and biased’ Florida Times Union coverage

In a lengthy Facebook post Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office took issue with Florida Times-Union  and ProPublica coverage of the ongoing pedestrian citation controversy.

The T-U has spotlighted a practice of pedestrian tickets for jaywalking, noting that a disproportionate amount of tickets are given out in African-American neighborhoods.

“Inaccurate and biased coverage by The Florida Times-Union and ProPublica has created a false impression and does a disservice to readers and citizens,” asserts the JSO, which offered myriad examples of “inaccuracy” and subsequent “clarification” in the article.

The article asserted that “the Jacksonville City Council president and other local lawmakers have called for suspending the issuing of pedestrian tickets in the wake of a state attorney’s office bulletin, the substance of which suggests that hundreds of tickets had been issued in error in recent years.”

The Facebook post attempts to undermine the reporters’ contention, disputing assertions made within the article; among the contentions, that there was no bulletin from the State Attorney’s Office to the Sheriff’s Office on the topic, but there was instead a “legal framework requested by the Sheriff.”

“The Times-Union and ProPublica continue to assume that citations were issued in error without any finding by any competent authority to that effect,” the JSO contends.

JSO also undermines the idea that there will be any meaningful City Council pushback as a result of the investigation.

“Multiple telephone and in-person conversations have revealed the Council members had been contacted by the reporters who alleged that an “analysis” by the State Attorney showed that pedestrian citations were issued in error. That assertion is factually incorrect,” the JSO contends. “Coverage by the Florida Times-Union/ProPublica seems to be urging a moratorium on the issuance of pedestrian citations. The use of the term ‘suspending’ suggests that the suspension would be temporary, but temporary until … when?”

Written By

Andrew Gillum Andrew Gillum

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