A Day of Healing

Citizens gather at City Hall

Emily Willis, Editor-in-Chief

     More than 100 Jacksonville residents congregated at the City Hall on Feb. 28 to protest the city’s growing murder rate. City Councilman Reginald Gaffney organized what he called the “Day of Healing” to pray, read poetry and read hymns dedicated to peace.

     “Everytime I see a death or somebody get shot, I see so many families hurting, so I said let me do a day of healing.  And I came to realize, even as I talked to a lot of family members [who asked] ‘Councilman Gaffney what’s your solution?’” Gaffney said in an interview with WJCT Public Media.  “I want to heal Jacksonville, I want to bring Jacksonville together.”

     In 2019, there has been about one death every two days in Jacksonville. There have been 27 murders, excluding the deaths that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not deemed a homicide yet. The Day of Healing came two weeks after Florida officials declared that a state of emergency was near, after a series of shootings in four days left six people dead.