NAACP blasts ‘discriminatory’ Jacksonville jail clearing ahead of Orange Crush festival
Space is being cleared in Jacksonville's jail ahead of a festival this weekend.

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The move suggests law enforcement expects numerous arrests at the predominantly Black event.

The city of Jacksonville plans to clear its jail this weekend, anticipating that it will need the space for law-breaking festival goers. A civil rights group calls it an “unprecedented” and “discriminatory” move.

On this Juneteenth weekend, the Orange Crush festival is headed to Jacksonville Beach. The music festival attracts a predominantly Black crowd. It is expected to draw 20,000 people in its first foray to Duval County. And security concerns have run rampant at the beaches, even though they routinely deal with large crowds for other events.

On Thursday, the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP issued a statement blasting the jail decision.

“We find this action to be highly discriminatory and unprecedented for large events held in this city,” asserted local NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin.

The NAACP contends the move sets the stage to “treat the predominately Black festival attendees differently than other large crowds.”

Notices to Appear are usually issued when dealing with unruly revelers in lieu of arrests, to reduce overcrowding in the jail.

“Why is it different for this group? We have not seen the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office take this action with the Florida/Georgia game or any other large gathering,” Rumlin added.

The NAACP wants JSO to immediately rescind the request to clear the jail.

“It will be a national embarrassment for JSO to mistreat a predominately Black crowd at a time when most cities are looking to improve race relations and not cause unnecessary strife and dissension,” the release notes.

JSO doesn’t frame its actions that way, at least based on statements made to local news.

The Sheriff’s Office told Action News Jax that it intends to “supplement the beaches’ area law enforcement agencies as a result of this weekend’s planned events.”

“We have asked for and received assistance from surrounding counties in reference to the temporary housing of inmates,” the agency told First Coast News.

There may be some positive movement however. On its Facebook page Thursday afternoon, the organizers touted a productive meeting with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.

Some businesses at the beach nonetheless will be closing on what could be one of the leading revenue drivers in this post-pandemic summer, citing inability to staff up to meet the anticipated crowd sizes.

This will be the first Orange Crush in Jacksonville. Previous iterations were in Georgia.

“Formerly Orange Crush Tybee Island has been permanently relocated. Due to lack of resources, limited parking, civil rights violations, and political injustices, the annual beach event has been moved and has new locations and new dates. It is unclear if Orange Crush will ever return to TYBEE ISLAND, GA. Luckily Jacksonville FL has agreed to be the NEW HOST city for the culturally historic ORANGE CRUSH FESTIVAL brand,” read a statement on the event page.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


16 comments

  • Margarie McCarroll

    June 17, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Whatever.

  • Matthew Lusk

    June 17, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    When the orange crush website says they’ve seen party goers have open sex right on the beach and other party goers just start shooting and other party goers pass out and get taken advantage of, it sounds like the sheriff being prepared is a wise move. Would those crying wolf in the name of racism prefer a weak response to 911 calls? Do most of the party goers not want law and order no matter their skin color?

  • JoAnne

    June 17, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Go back to Georgia. Obviously the event organizers have issues with any city they go to.

  • Matthew Lusk

    June 17, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    When the orange crush website says they’ve seen party goers have open sex right on the beach and other party goers just start shooting and other party goers pass out and get taken advantage of, it sounds like the sheriff being prepared is a wise move. Would those crying wolf in the name of racism prefer a weak response to 911 calls? Do most of the party goers not want law and order no matter their skin color? According to ActionNews Jax there where only 2 arrest from the FL/GA game whereas there have been over 30 arrest each year at orange crush. If it where a white trash bag event on the St John, I would sure like the sheriff to be prepared. It may turn out to be a fine event with good times all around. It could even become a permanent and well liked attraction for Jax Beach. Let’s give it a go and see.

  • martin

    June 18, 2021 at 8:50 am

    If the shoe fits……
    Better to be prepared then be caught with their pants down.

  • Johny Reb

    June 18, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I will do a public records request after the event for Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach to see how many were arrested and how many buildings were burned and looted. Jacksonville Beach will see what a mistake it was to hold this Black event.

    • Lisa

      June 19, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      You’re racist

  • Me

    June 19, 2021 at 2:05 am

    Anyone who lives in america and pay their taxes has a right to go out and have fun now the comments that I have read are racist and judgemental and I am a white tax payer and voter before you judge think of the non caring individuals who attack the white house and to the guy who will be checking for public arrest records start with washington and then your family because I am sure one of your children family member or yourself have partied and got wild so to all you hypercritical people shame on you and you need to pray to change your ways because you are one of the problems in this country i served this country in many wars to protect all

    • charles marcus II

      June 19, 2021 at 6:27 am

      Whoever wrote this is obviously a racist! Georgia kicked this event out! Jax will too eventually!

  • Kenneth Davis

    June 19, 2021 at 5:23 am

    Yes this is no doubt racist. I am a former law enforcement veteran of 15 years and saw it first hand. The officers mindset have been preset to arrest instead of crowd control. It sends the message that we don’t want you in our city.

  • H McCormick

    June 19, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Its not a black or white reason for increased police.
    It is 10,000 college kids!

  • Pat Bass

    June 19, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    There are times we can hurt our ownselves. It’s time to put our big boy and big girl panties on and let ourselves shine. I know we should not entertain the enemies with their racisms. The only reason we our in these such racism situation because we allowed it by being afraid. Our ancestors fought for us to be free. So in other words our generation only have history. Marti Luther King said on August 28, 1963 ” Free at Last Free at Last Thank God Almighty Free at Last ! ” Just treat people the way you want to be treated. Jacksonville we are the Classy State with No Hate. The City is looking beautiful. Let us keep showing mad love in Jville. Duuuuval !

  • charles marcus II

    June 19, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Didn’t understand but a small part of this whole post!
    Constructive writing obviously not this posters favorite class in school.

  • Ed Holmes

    June 20, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Nothing racists about being prepared. Lets compare Memorial Day Weekend in Miami to any other Memorial Day Weekend anywhere else. Yes, better to be prepared. If I owned any business in Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach I would have closed for sure this weekend. Look at the videos of past Orange Crush Festivals. You name it the crimes have been committed. Not racist by preparing based on Historical Data. Black people don’t need to riot or protest. They need to change their culture, their music and the way they raise their children. Not all of them, but a lot of them. You shouldn’t be proud that your daughter knows Cardi B songs and is acting like her at 5 years old. You want change, start from within. Stop blaming everyone else for your own downfall. If MLK was alive today he would be ashamed of what Black America has become, not proud. Before you call me racist, I’m black. I have lived in Jacksonville for 33 years and have never been discriminated against. You know why? Because I don’t act like “Boosie” or “Kodak Black”. Stop being brainwashed by the things you see on TV and the rap music you listen to. Stop wasting your money on big rims, jewelry and shoes. Start learning, investing and for gods sake pull up your pants!

  • Marie Alfieri

    June 21, 2021 at 7:13 am

    I am just grateful for the weather this past weekend. Lots of rain on the parade, or whatever this “festival” was supposed to be. The Mother of Jax Beach has spoken, take the hint

Comments are closed.


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