Church and community leaders are convening a town hall meeting to discuss “driving while black” after a prominent pastor said a Jacksonville police officer pointed a gun at him and his nephew while questioning their vehicle’s tinted windows.
The Rev. Darien K. Bolden Sr., past president of the Baptist Ministers Conference, said he won’t comment on what happened until Friday’s gathering, and the Sheriff’s Office has been limited in its response. But nevertheless the incident has been condemned by the head of the local NAACP as well as the man in charge of the Florida General Baptist Convention.
Bolden, senior pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach, said the “State of Jacksonville Town Hall Meeting” will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Central Baptist Institutional Church at 524 W. Third St. The Florida General Baptist Convention, Baptist Ministers Conference, The Northside Coalition of Jacksonville and other organizations are scheduled to attend.
Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville branch of the NAACP, said he is deeply concerned about what he called an unwarranted traffic stop of Bolden over a possible window tint violation. He said he is even more concerned that a police officer apparently pulled a gun on Bolden and his nephew during questioning.
“We have a good relationship [with the sheriff]. What happened last week is just unacceptable,” Rumlin said. “… I think there has got to be better training as it relates to mental health, as it relates to how officers approach people when they are pulled over. … If there’s not, somebody is going to get killed as a result of these officers.”
SOURCE: Dan Scanlan
Florida Times-Union / Jacksonville.com