Police Union President Calls Black Lives Matter Protesters Outside Philadelphia Officer's House 'a Pack of Rabid Animals'
Philadelphia cops held a rally of their own Thursday night in response to a protest last week by local Black Lives Matter activists outside the home of a cop identified in a fatal civilian shooting.
The rally was held at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 headquarters and featured several speakers. Emotions quickly escalated and FOP President John McNesby made one jarring statement.
"When you go to work each day, you shouldn't have to worry that a pack of rabid animals will suddenly show up at your home and openly threaten your family," he told the gathered crowd of a couple hundred people, according to WHYY.
That "pack" he referred to is the dozen or so activists who protested last Thursday outside the Northeast Philadelphia house of Officer Ryan Pownall. He has been identified by the police department as the officer who shot David Jones in the back as Jones ran from a confrontation with Pownall in June.
McNesby went on to describe the protesters as "racist hate groups determined to instigate violence."
A local leader of the Black Lives Matter movement said Friday that McNesby's comments are ridiculous.
"We’re not going to dignify that with an answer," activist Asa Khalif said. "That ridiculous comment doesn't deserve a response. I’ll simply say, 'Justice for David Jones.'"
The Black Lives Matter demonstration last week occurred on 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.
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.
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.
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