Condemning shutdown of Jacksonville adult arcades, civil rights group speaks at City Hall

Civil Rights activists blame city for thousands of jobs lost in Jacksonville after the closure of internet cafes

Dr. Charles Steele Jr., CEO of the national Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a national civil rights group, spoke out Friday morning against the city's decision to close internet cafes across Jacksonville.

He delivered a passionate message on the steps of Jacksonville's City Hall, calling for the reversal of that decision, which put thousands out of work.

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"We want regulation! We're saying reverse what just happened!" he said.

According to the city, all 175 adult arcades in Jacksonville have been served cease-and-desist letters.

The businesses must get rid of simulated gambling devices within five days of being served.

Action News Jax learned late Tuesday night that an injunction aimed at keeping the cafes open was denied | CLICK HERE TO READ THE MOTION

"It's again an example where the rich are attacking poor people," said Steele.

City leaders say those types of businesses attract crime. Steele proclaimed several times that violent crimes are not unique to cafes.

"Crime is all over the world," he said. "It does not relate to nothing about video gaming. Crime is all over the world."

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He also promised the SCLC is bringing resources resulting to jobs in impoverished areas of Jacksonville.

"We're saying we're bringing about training," said Steele. "We're bringing about jobs. We're going to get the folks who are lacking the hope and the prosperity to not do crime."

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