Connect with us
Chaos erupts on Newnan Street in Jacksonville as police deploy multiple rounds of tear gas at protesters demonstrating against excessive force by police. Photo by Drew Dixon.

Headlines

Photos: Once peaceful protest, Jacksonville anti-police brutality demonstration turns chaotic

Tear gas and flash bangs were used to disperse protesters.

What was a peaceful protest for some four hours quickly turned violent in clashes between demonstrators and Jacksonville police Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

About 3,000 demonstrators Marched through downtown Jacksonville streets beginning at 3 p.m. Organizers were pleased the event showed no signs of confrontation between protesters and Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers. The demonstration was called in part due to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week, which touched off violent protests in multiple cities.

In Jacksonville between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., the seemingly festive atmosphere turned ominous when several dozen JSO officers in full riot gear had a standoff with demonstrators at Newnan and Bay streets. Two armored police vehicles also responded to the scene.

When police tried to apprehend one protester, crowds started to throw water bottles and cups at the officers. Police deployed “flash bangs” multiple times. Flashbangs are loud explosive devices designed to disperse crowds.

The chaos initially lulled protesters. Then police formed a line and marched shoulder to shoulder north on Newnan Street to Forsyth Street near the Florida Theatre, where a cagey standoff ensued for almost an hour. Some protesters staged a brief sit-in at Forsyth and Newnan streets. Then police launched several flashbangs and ultimately turned to fire tear gas canisters.

The flashpoint: Bay and Newnan streets in Jacksonville is where police started deploying “flash bangs” and tear gas while trying to apprehend a protester. Photo by Drew Dixon.

As police in riot gear started to sweep through Newnan Street, several protesters staged a brief sit-in at the intersection of Forsyth Street near the Florida Theatre. It was quickly cleared by police who deployed tear gas. Image via Drew Dixon.

Dozens of police responded to Newnan Street in full riot gear and armor and began sweeping the streets of protesters following violent clashes. Image via Drew Dixon.

Chaos erupts on Newnan Street in Jacksonville as police deploy multiple rounds of tear gas at protesters demonstrating against the excessive use of police force. Image via Drew Dixon.

Written By

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.