JACKSONVILLE, FL (CelebrityAccess) — On Friday, 20,000 people are expected in downtown Jacksonville for the Orange Crush Festival, a loosely organized series of parties and events taking place around the city and its beaches.
The 3-day festival, which is taking place in Jacksonville for the first time this year, relocated from its longtime home on Tybee Island, where, according to local media reports, it had worn out its welcome with locals.
“Formerly Orange Crush Tybee Island has been permanently relocated. Due to lack of resources, limited parking, civil rights violations, and political injustices, the annual beach event has been moved and has new locations and new dates. It is unclear if Orange Crush will ever return to TYBEE ISLAND, GA. Luckily Jacksonville FL has agreed to be the NEW HOST city for the culturally historic ORANGE CRUSH FESTIVAL brand,” read a statement from festival organizers on the event page.
In Jacksonville, law enforcement officials are bracing for a busy Juneteenth weekend and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported that they are transferring inmates from local jails to ensure there is adequate room for what they anticipate to be a surge of revelry-related arrests, according to Jacksonville’s First Coast News.
The decision to move inmates ahead of the festival, which draws a largely black audience, prompted criticism from the Jacksonville NAACP, who called the move “unprecedented” and “discriminatory.”
“We find this action to be highly discriminatory and unprecedented for large events held in this city,” asserted local NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin.
According to the NAACP, the decision to make room in jails is unusual as Notices to Appear are typically issued in lieu of arrests when dealing with unruly revelers, to reduce overcrowding in the jail.
“Why is it different for this group? We have not seen the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office take this action with the Florida/Georgia game or any other large gathering,” Rumlin added.
According to First Coast News, a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office said that moving prisoners “happens on occasion for a variety of reasons, including the safety and security of inmates and the institution. In this case, it was done to ensure the population is at an adequate level to account for arrests while continuing to maintain a safe level to curtail the effects of COVID-19 in the inmate population.”
However, they declined to cite a specific example of another time such a move has been made, First Coast News reported.
According to FCN, 79 people were arrested at Orange Crush in 2019, primarily due to DUI/public intoxication.