by: Alyana Gomez Updated:
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - A community and a civil rights group are facing off against the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
"We're scared to walk the streets," said one neighbor.
Fear and distrust in JSO has overcome an Atlantic Beach community. Neighbors are particularly concerned about the behavior of two officers patrolling their streets.
"I have witnessed these officers harass people not only my family but people in the neighborhood," said neighbor Jackie McMullen.
Officer Michael Gibson and Lt. Steve Mullens are assigned to Zone 2 in Atlantic Beach. Action News found out Mullens has had one formal complaint filed through internal affairs in the last year. Gibson has had two.
"The complaints I've received have been unfounded or not sustained so it's surprising," said JSO Assistant Chief John Lamb.
Lamb met with neighbors and representatives from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference about the civil rights concerns raised about the two officers' behavior. He said they may have an aggressive approach to policing but said he wants to see if their methods are bringing down crime numbers before removing them from the zone they've been patrolling for more than a year.
According to JSO's Crime Mapping tool, there have been more than 4,800 crimes reported in Zone 2 since February of this year.
"I don't want to jump to a knee-jerk reaction and remove the officer from this area without giving it that due justice," said Lamb.