More than a dozen activists interrupted Philadelphia City Council’s first meeting since summer break Thursday morning.
"Cindy Bass, people are being killed in your district," yelled one woman, who also addressed other members of council during a rowdy public comment section, said Layla Jones, spokeswoman for Councilwoman Bass.
The activist was a member of Philly for REAL Justice, an organization calling for police reform and a better relationship between black communities and law enforcement.
The group assembled earlier Thursday morning and marched from the embattled Frank Rizzo statue across the street to the council meeting in City Hall.
The activists at times yelled profanity as they interrupted proceedings. City Council President Darrell Clarke allowed them to finish their statements, which were given during public comment.
Sheriff's officers removed some activists and issued citations to five people who were being very disruptive, sheriff's office spokeswoman Luz Cardenas said. The cited people must appear in court within 10 days and could face fines.
Black Lives Matter PA also spoke Thursday afternoon. Carnell Williams-Carney recounted being shot in the back in 2010 by Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall, who was recently suspended for shooting and killing David Jones in June.
Williams-Carney was paralyzed and now resides in assisted living.
"If the officer had been charged the first time, there would not have been a David Jones," activist Asa Khalif said.
"It was about making sure [Williams-Carney] had a voice and he could give his account of what happened. People needed to hear his voice. Not only did they hear him, they saw him."
Williams-Carney appeared before city council in a wheelchair. He struggled to speak at times, prompting council president Darrell Clarke to eliminate the time limit on public speakers.
"Vengeance is easy and small. Vendettas are petty," Clarke said in a statement.
"What Mr. Williams-Carney and those with him today seek is far more difficult, will take collaboration and hard work by all of us: We need and deserve authorities we can trust with our bodies and our lives."
To that end, Clarke introduced a bill that would expand and "stengthen" the Police Advisory Commission, a civilian watchdog of the Philadelphia Police Department. The bill would increase the commission budget to $500,000, up from its current $400,000 allocation.