Justice For DJ Broadus
A Peacebuilding Connections Project
On February 3, 2018, DJ Broadus, a 31-year-old father, brother, son, cousin, nephew, uncle and resident of Jacksonville, Florida, died after being shot in the head three times — once in the mouth and twice in the neck — by Gardner Kent Fraser, 29 in Macclenny, Florida. Despite Gardner admitting to killing DJ homicide charges have not been brought against him. Due to Florida’s racist and corrupt “Stand Your Ground” law Gardner is given the assumption by the state that he acted in self defense when he murdered DJ. Unless the state of Florida can prove otherwise Gardner will serve no punishment for murdering DJ.
DJ was killed on property belonging to Southern State Nurseries, Inc, a business long owned by Gardner Fraser’s family. DJ’s killer Gardner, the son of recently retired Baker County Deputy Sheriff Ryan T. Fraser, is currently facing chargers in Baker County for Tampering With Evidence after killing DJ. At the time of the murder DJ and Gardner were the only two people at Southern State Nursery.
On the day of the incident DJ, an alleged friend and former intimate partner of Gardner, was unarmed when he was shot in the back of the head. Despite DJ being found dead in a defense position and Gardner allegedly disappearing DJ’s cell phone after the killing Gardner maintains that he killed DJ in self-defense. Gardner is not only protected by the law he is a member of the well connected Fraser family. Gardner’s great uncle J. E. Fraser was a leader within the Florida Ku Klux Klan and his great great grandfather an elected State representative.
Homicide charges have not been brought against Gardner Fraser as he is protected by the “Castle Doctrine” and Florida’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law. Due to recent changes in the law defendants such as Gardner do not have justify their use of deadly force to police, the burden of proof is on the state to prove the defendant was not acting in self-defense. In a case where there are no witnesses beyond the deceased and the defendant its nearly impossible to prove one did not act in self-defense.
The family and community believe there is overwhelming evidence and reason to believe that Gardner Fraser did not act in self-defense on February 3rd, 2018 and should have at many moments de-escalated the violence used that led to the death of DJ. The community believes that only through a coordinated and sustained public pressure campaign will DJ and DJ’s family find justice in this wrongdoing.
To support the efforts of the community and family of DJ Peacebuilding Connections has coordinated family and community phone conferences, organized town halls, produced a series of direct actions including a march in Baker County Florida and a 44,000 signature petition drop to Florida States Attorney William Cervone.