A controversy has sparked among ministers with different opinions on a protest that happened in front of State Attorney Angela Corey’s office Thursday.
A group called ICARE protested and eventually confronted Corey over civil citations to minors. The group protesting said too many kids were arrested and charged with crimes instead of being given civil citations, which don’t show up on a permanent record.
A spokesperson for ICARE said Jacksonville charges minors too often with crimes instead of using these citations.
Friday, Pastor Ken Adkins wrote a letter to Corey’s office, explaining that he and other pastors don’t support the actions by ICARE.
“I was embarrassed as a pastor,” said Adkins. “I thought (the protest) was way out of line, I thought it wasn’t real, I thought they was just trying to jump on somebody who’s already having some problems or issues with the public perception. I think Mrs. Corey has done a great job. Nobody is perfect, but really I was embarrassed to be a pastor.”
“I do not believe their actions are indicative of how pastors in this community feel about you or the job your office had done,” Adkins wrote to Corey in an email.
Other local ministers are echoing Adkin’s sentiment. Bishop Terrence Calloway of the Independent Church Fellowship of Covenant Churches agrees with Adkins and said he thinks ICARE went too far.
“I personally think it was a grandstand move by a group of pastors to get media attention," Calloway said. "To say they're doing something for (the) community, I think it was very distasteful.”
Channel 4 reached out to Reverend Ken Dorsey with ICARE to ask their response to reverend Adkins' letter to Angela Corey. Dorsey explained that Pastor Adkins is “not a minister of one of our congregations” and it “wouldn't be professional of me, as it would not be professional of him to make a comment of the clergy.”
The group ICARE also said that Angela Corey’s office has refused to meet with them to discuss the civil-citation issue.