Leonard Fournette and Black Lives Matter

Running back Leonard Fournette couldn’t make it to an earlier Black Lives Matter march with his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates, so he organized his own. On Tuesday, June 9, hundreds gathered at Hemming Park in front of City Hall, where Fournette was joined by Sheriff Mike Williams, entertainer Lil Duval, and Mayor Lenny Curry. The men spoke about changes coming in response to the protests, which have continued almost daily since March 30.

The big news of the day was the city’s decision on Jacksonville’s Confederate memorials. Starting at 4 a.m., city crews removed the Confederate statue and plaques from the column at the center of Hemming Park. Mayor Lenny Curry spoke about the removal and said plans were underway to remove the rest of the city’s monuments. This is a significant change of course for the mayor, who had refused calls to remove the monuments three years ago, and puts Jacksonville in line with other Southern cities who have recently removed their monuments.

Saying “we have heard your voices,” Curry also spoke about coming reforms to the police body cam policy, economic opportunity, and infrastructure. He also promised to create a committee that brings together the government, police, and members of the community to address pressing issues. Following the speeches, protesters, police and public officials walked to the Duval County Courthouse lawn, where the mayor took questions from the media. Subsequently, most of the marchers dispersed, though some returned to Hemming Park to continue their protest. All the events proceeded and ended peacefully and without incident.

Scenes from the march



Next page: More scenes from the march

More scenes from the march

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at wdelaney@moderncities.com.