Story By: Les Steed, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the police bodycam footage of an unruly council meeting about the hiring of a ‘killer cop’ in a Californian city that led to nine arrests.
Protesters were arrested after they demanded that Fairfield City police in the US state of California dismiss Officer Dustin Joseph who was involved in the fatal shooting of Mario Romero, 23, as he got out of his car on 2nd September 2012 in Vallejo.
At the time, Joseph was ruled by the Solano County authorities to have acted in self-defence.
The city’s chief of police Deanna Cantrell has since defended hiring him in 2018 and the fact that he still serves in Fairfield.
After a 10-minute speech by Chief Cantrell on November 17th, the public comment session was moved to the end of the meeting, which is not normally practiced.
This heightened tensions among protesters who started chanting for 10 minutes.
Protesters can be heard chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, let the people take the floor” shortly before the council board leaves the room and cops get involved.
Fairfield Police said that “officers were sent to address the increasingly chaotic situation” while council members went to recess when the protesters were removed.
The forced removal led to eight adults and a teenager being arrested outside the building.
The protest is believed to have been orchestrated by Fairfield Change, who demanded that the public’s concerns and questions be answered.
Fairfield PD defended their actions in a statement that read: “There are situations in which limits on a person’s First Amendment rights are appropriate, especially where the speech in question unlawfully disturbs or breaks up an assembly or meeting, such as a lawful council meeting.”
The police named Fairfield residents Elizabeth Sabrina Stetson, 23, Adrienne Lynne Thomas, 20, Crystal Leilani Ramirez, 24, Jimarielle Sandra Bowie, 23, Dennis Edward Green, 35, Kameron Alexander Holzendorf, 27, Jace Sears, 18, and Andres Xavier Rivera-Cruz, 23, of Suisun City as charged and jailed for “suspicion of disturbance of an assembly or meeting” along with a 17-year-old who was cited and then sent back to her parents.