Black Lives Matter Members Protest Outside Philadelphia Police Officer's Home Over Man's Shooting Death

Shouting "If we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace," the group demanded Pownall be charged with murder for the June death of David Jones

Several members of the group Black Lives Matter demonstrated outside the Northeast Philadelphia home of a police officer Thursday evening over his involvement in the shooting death of a man during a traffic stop.

The small group of about a dozen paced outside 15th District Officer Ryan Pownall's twin home along Bridle Road in the city's Bustleton section for about an hour.

Shouting "If we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace," the group demanded Pownall be charged with murder for the June death of David Jones.

Pownall, a 12-year veteran of the police department, shot the 30-year-old in the back and buttocks on June 8 following a struggle. The officer stopped Jones for riding an illegal dirt bike in North Philadelphia.

Family Photo
David Jones

During a pat down, Pownall felt a gun in Jones' waistband, police said.

A witness in back of Pownall's police vehicle watched Pownall pull his service weapon and warn Jones not to touch the gun, police said. The two men scuffled before Jones allegedly grabbed his handgun, according to police.

Jones then fled. Surveillance video obtained by NBC10 appears to show Jones running away when he was shot.

The same witness later told NBC10 that Jones had dropped the gun before running. A fully loaded .9mm handgun was recovered at the scene.

Jones died at Temple University Hospital.

Activists are protesting the deadly police shooting of a man riding a dirt bike in Philadelphia back on June 8. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is handing the investigation of the death of David Jones.

The shooting remains under investigation by both police and the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the department is looking into whether protocol was followed.

Pownall remains on administrative leave.

Black Lives Matter, led by activist Asa Khalif, along with others, have been protesting the shooting for weeks. In July, the group marched on the Police Administration Building and City Hall demanding a larger investigation.

The group decided to turn its attention to Pownall Thursday. A line of on-duty police officers separated the demonstrators from the officer's home. The non-violent protest was streamed on Facebook Live.

Pownall was called a "racist, bigot pig cop" and Khalif said he has "a murderous spirit" referring to another shooting that the officer was involved. That 2010 shooting left Carnell Williams-Carney paralyzed when a bullet hit him in the back. The shooting was ruled justified and Williams-Carney lost a federal lawsuit against police.

Thursday's protest riled police union boss John McNesby. He called Khalif a "punk" who shoud've been arrested for protesting without a permit.

"I can't use the words I want," McNesby said Friday. "To take it to someone's house, a police officer's house, he doesn't have any respect."

"He's a two-bit punk who doesn't have the respect of decent protesters, if there is any in this city."

Khalif invoked the words of Black Panther Assata Shakur in response: "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

Protesting at Pownall's home has Pa. Rep. Martina White (R - Pa. 170) renewing calls to support a bill that would bar police from releasing an officer's name shortly after a shooting.

Philadelphia Police Department policy directs the release of officers' identities within 72 hours of a police-involved shooting if there is no credible threat against the officer. The policy falls in line with U.S. Department of Justice guidelines.

White has sponsored House Bill 27, which would limit the release of officers' names to 30 days or until the investigation is completed — whichever is sooner.

The representative fired shots at Commissioner Ross and Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement Friday alleging they have been soft on policing Black Lives Matter protests.

"It is shocking to me that Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Mayor Jim Kenney allowed this illegal occupation to go on for hours without taking any action to enforce the law, and I question whether the police department has been ordered to stand down when it comes to addressing this Black Lives Matter action," her statement read in part.

Kenney thanked police for defusing the protest and denounced the event.

"There are many Philadelphians and officers who are productively working to build police-community trust, including pushing for transparency and reform which Commissioner Ross and I both agree must continue. What happened last night did nothing to move those efforts forward," the mayor said in a statement.

White previously introduced a bill that would bar police departments from releasing officer identities unless that officer was charged with a crime and only after an internal investigation has been competed.

The law was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2016.

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