In a disgusting display of arrogance, a group of Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a Philadelphia City Hall news conference about an anti-littering campaign to demand justice for a black man who was shot in the back and killed by a city police officer.
Mayor Jim Kenney and Council President Darrell L. Clarke were giving a relatively blasé presentation in the Mayor’s Reception Room about the need to “change the culture of littering” in the city when a group of BLM demonstrators stormed the conference and demanded justice from the two leaders for the death of David Jones.
“This is a history and a pattern of abuse from the 15th District law enforcement, right here in Philadelphia, and no one is saying anything,” Asa Khalif said during the interruption. “This is an outrage that this officer is allowed to be back on the force.” As you can see in the video, the display was anything but calm and respectful.
— BLM Report (@BLM_Report) August 7, 2017
“By any means necessary,” Khalif shouted before storming the meeting.”
The protesters were apparently mainly looking for a response from Clarke – who was at the podium at the time, Philly.com reports. During a heated exchange, Clarke said, “I do have problems with possibly inappropriate shootings by police officers. I also have problems with the more than 300 people who get killed every year.” He was referring to all fatal shootings in the city.
On June 8, Jones, 30, was shot in the back as he ran from police during an encounter. An investigation is ongoing and Officer Ryan Pownall – a 12-year-veteran of the force – has been placed on leave during the investigation. Pownall is white and Jones is black. Jones was armed and reports are that he was reaching for his gun. During the encounter, Pownall felt a handgun in Jones’ waistband and ordered him not to touch his gun.
A struggle ensued and Jones pulled out his gun, police said.
Pownall squeezed the trigger on his service weapon but it jammed, police said. He cleared the jam and fired at Jones, who by then was running away.
TV news images from the scene showed a pistol on the ground just feet from the dirt bike, away from where Jones had run to when he was shot.
Clarke – the council president – told the BLM protesters that the incident had been referred to the attorney general’s office and hours later, issued the following statement:
“People knew this man, loved this man, and had hopes for his future. His death and the weeks following have been painful for all parties involved,” he said. “The pain being felt by Mr. Jones’ loved ones must be honored and respected, no matter the outcome of this investigation.”
Black Lives Matter protesters said they had shut down several other events in the last three weeks. Hitt said that protesters had interrupted a few of the mayor’s events and that Kenney respected their First Amendment right to do so.
Khalif and Gardner said they planned more interruptions for this week.
“We’re going to do this because we have no other choice, because there has been no transparency whatsoever,” Khalif said after the protest.
The facts don’t seem to matter. Arrogant and aggressive, BLM will stage any demonstration, incite any protest to get their names in the paper. Justice can prevail, if they will only let it.