Happy New Year, friends. I’m going to keep this post relatively short and focus on a few numbers from 2020.
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- 2020 saw the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shoot the most people in a decade, with police shooting 14 people, killing nine. Eight of those shot by police were Black, while four were white and two were Hispanic.
- Eleven Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employees arrested this year, marking 66 since Sheriff Mike Williams took office in July 2015. Seven of those arrests were for things employees did on duty. As high as that seems, it was even higher in 2017 when 17 employees were arrested. See a spreadsheet of the arrests here.
- One-hundred-seventy-five homicides in Jacksonville, the most since 1990. More than half of the homicides were in four Zip codes, the most concentration we’ve seen in at least the last 15 years, with 32209, 32208, 32210 and 32218 all hitting record-high homicides. One-hundred-thirty-nine have been confirmed as murders. Twenty-two were deemed not murders, and another 14 are pending. Luckily, December was much quieter than the rest of the year. Let’s hope that carries over into the new year. You can see more graphics here.
- 50.14% of Jacksonville was not white in 2019, according to U.S. Census figures that came out in 2020, marking the first time Jacksonville became a minority-majority city. The margin of error means the non-white population in Jacksonville is somewhere between 49.8% and 50.5%. Until now, Jacksonville has been the largest majority-white city in America. In the last decade, among the top 13 cities in America, Jacksonville has seen its diversity grow the third-most, largely driven by a growth in Asian and Hispanic people in the city.
- One in 15 Duval residents have been infected with COVID-19, the third-highest rate among Florida’s most populous counties, but thankfully, Duval has had one of the lowest death rates, but still 741 people — one in 1,200 residents — have died.
Start your week off …
On Twitter, a Curry critic posted a sexist comment about Curry’s wife. Curry responded with a threat of violence. Councilman Dennis criticized Curry’s tweet. Police union president Steve Zona posted a tweet accusing Dennis of adultery, which Curry repeated twice.
Curry and Dennis have both used Twitter as a medium to insult their critics.
Keep an eye out today for City Council’s incoming report about JEA. If you’ve missed the saga of some of Jacksonville’s leaders who attempted to sell the municipal utility, sparking a federal investigation in response to the Times-Union’s reporting, you can catch up here.
Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, the former sheriff of Jacksonville, will oppose certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. A fellow Republican offered an objection to seating representatives from the six states that Rutherford said mishandled their elections, but Rutherford did not agree that they shouldn’t be seated. He provided no evidence or even specific allegations as to why he was objecting to the results. He is in line with many congressional Republicans who want to reverse the results of the election that President Trump lost.
Rutherford’s seat, Congressional District 4, is a solidly Republican district that carries Nassau, much of St. Johns and most of the white neighborhoods in Jacksonville. In 2016, he won election by 42 points. In 2020, he won by 22 points, a strong victory but also a stunning shift toward Democrats in a solidly Republican district.
The district isn’t likely to change in redistricting. Jacksonville has more people than the number that can be in the largest district, which means the city will always have at least two districts, and in all likelihood, due to the city’s racial and political segregation, one district will be solidly Democratic and one will be solidly Republican.
Some readers asked after last week’s post if I’d done any congressional maps, and I have. Florida is likely to gain two congressional districts. It’s impossible to draw a district entirely within Jacksonville that has a majority non-white citizen voting age population, but here are three examples of how to draw districts that try to minimize how often districts split counties. You can see interactive versions of this and all the other maps I drew here.