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Jacksonville Sheriff Admits Race May Have Played a Role in Ticket Writing

The sheriff says blacks were not targeted for pedestrian tickets but “implicit bias” might have factored into enforcement by officers.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said this week that “implicit bias” likely played some role in the fact that disproportionate numbers of pedestrian tickets written by his officers in recent years went to blacks.

ProPublica and the Florida Times-Union in 2017 reported that 55 percent of pedestrian tickets written over a recent five-year period were issued to blacks despite the fact they made up just 29 percent of the local population.

Williams and his office said at the time that blacks had not been targeted in the enforcement of pedestrian violations.

The Times-Union had reporters at the forum this week in Jacksonville during which Williams made his statement about implicit bias. Read their full story.

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