Jacksonville community members gather to discuss racially-charged ticketing practices

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Dozens of people gathered that night to listen to the journalists, who were gathered on a panel that included civil rights lawyers, community organizers, and people who’d experienced altercations with the police themselves

Last Thursday, March 8, 2018, dozens gathered in Jacksonville’s Riverside church to listen to and discuss the findings of two Times-Union investigative journalists- Benjamin Conarck and Topher Sanders- who, in a searing article published last fall titled “Walking while Black,” exposed wide ranging and systematic abuses by the Duvall County Police Department. The police department, the journalists attested, has over the past four years used a litany of draconian pedestrian rules to unjustly and arbitrarily “shake down” anyone they suspected of having committed a crime. The majority of people targeted for ticketing, the journalists found, were overwhelmingly poor and black.

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