An officer was stabbed in the neck during rioting in Jacksonville, Florida and several other injured on Saturday night so far.
Sheriff Williams said that the initially peaceful protest turned ugly at around 6:30 p.m. when 200 protesters started throwing rocks and destroying police cars, according to WOKV.
Mayor: ‘We’re not going to tolerate it in our city. We’re not going to let them burn our city to the ground.’
One of the officers was stabbed and slashed in the neck during the attack. The condition of the wounded officer has not been released.
Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams said about 1,200 people showed up for that protest, which began around 3 p.m. Williams said there was “really good cooperation” from the organizers. As the day progressed, he said, things changed.
“They attacked several police officers. They vandalized several police cars, attempting to light them on fire, breaking windows,” Williams said. “We have one officer who was stabbed — was slashed in the neck and is currently at the hospital.”
No further information has been released about the suspect.
The Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville Loge 5-30 posted to Facebook about the riot.
“We protected their rights to peacefully protest today and it has quickly morphed into a violent situation where an officer was stabbed, police cars burned and property damaged,” the FOP lodge said. “The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and our community will not tolerate those who wish to cause this chaos. Peace will be restored.”
Speaking alongside Williams, Curry said the city has a history of people protesting peacefully and respectfully, and he said that’s how things began during the afternoon.
“I watched it. There were some kids out there making their voices heard, respectfully, and then they left and the folks that are left are — it’s not about peaceful protest. It’s not about reform. It’s not about change. It’s about violence,” Curry said. “Police officers have been attacked, and we’re not going to tolerate it in our city. We’re not going to let them burn our city to the ground.”
Thanks to our friends at Blue Lives Matter for this report.