Jacksonville crime survivors, families make their way to state capitol to demand safety reforms

Dozens of Jacksonville crime victims and their families are making their way to the state capitol rallying for legislation that helps survivors and victims of violent crimes.

They’re headed to Survivor Speaks Florida rally in Tallahassee — where they’ll be joining more than 400 crime survivors and their families — to demand safety reforms.

Here’s a breakdown of changes the groups are hoping to see during the legislative session:

Lawmakers to adjust penalties for low-level probation violationsLawmakers to seal low-level misdemeanor records, so it doesn’t affect people’s jobsLawmakers to fund trauma recovery services for Jacksonville crime victims and their families

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This is the first time Janice and Ronnie Fields are taking part in the rally.

In 2022, their son Rashaud Fields was shot and killed at a graduation party, just hours after getting his diploma.

“I am trying to be strong for them also and for myself. That is the reason why I’m really going on this trip because they are feeling the same pain that I am feeling. They lost a child,” Janice said.

Ronnie said he hopes to see change.

“A big change of people putting these guns down,” Ronnie said.

Pamela Tyson is carrying this photo of her son, Gregory Lynn Dubose Jr., to the rally.

He was killed in a hit-and-run at the age of 23 in 2017.

She says attending these rallies and meeting other parents, also dealing with loss, has helped deal with her own grievance.

“It really did help me cope me with a loss my son. It’s a really big help for our moms dads sister and brothers or anyone lost in a homicide,” Tyson said.

One of the groups leading the effort is Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, which is a national network of crime survivors with close to 14,000 members throughout Florida. It aims to help heal communities and influence public policy.

The rally begins at 11:30 am. in Tallahassee.

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