As Jacksonville prepares for its first curfew of the riots of 2020, beginning Sunday at 8PM, Democratic candidates and elected officials are balking.
Democrat Ben Marcus, running in the Southside House District 16 against Curry ally Rep. Jason Fischer, questioned the need for a citywide curfew.
He attributes the call to a “power drunk” Mayor Lenny Curry, and challenges the second-term Republican to “prove” that a citywide curfew is needed.
“The entire city, a curfew from eight to six? How does this make any sense?”
Marcus advised the Mayor to “get yourself together.”
“All this will do is cause unnecessary arrests, and conflict. Unless that’s what you’re going for,” Marcus harangued.
“Is that what you’re going for, Mr. Mayor? Give me a break, you’re power drunk, get off the gas,” Marcus said.
Rep. Tracie Davis also had objections.
“A curfew at 8? Why are we punishing an entire city? Do you realize folks walk to neighborhood stores until they close? What about our restaurants that just re-opened? This is not the answer; just an excuse!!!”
The Libertarian Party of Duval County has also questioned the curfew’s authority.
Curry, for his part, gave the rationale for the evening curfew in a series of Tweets.
“Due to criminal activity that threatens first responders, other people, and private property, Sheriff Williams and I have decided to implement a citywide curfew. Effective 8pm today until 6am tomorrow I am putting a curfew in place for the City of Jacksonville,” Curry noted.
“Let me say this plainly, if you are in our streets after 8pm you are subject to arrest by law enforcement. No one may travel upon City streets except for 1st responders, credentialed media, people going to/from work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger.”
Curry added that “Sheriff Williams and I did not wish to implement such a policy but we simply will not tolerate criminals who threaten men and women in law enforcement and the private property of law abiding citizens.”
“This is not an effort to disrupt law abiding citizens and businesses. You can travel to and from work during curfew hours,” the Mayor added.
For Curry, who did not impose a curfew during the coronavirus period in the Spring, the reaction here illustrates the political risk he might have taken had he done so.