STOCKTON (CBS13) — For the second time this month, people protesting police violence and calling for greater transparency, were kicked out of a Stockton city council meeting. But this time, demonstrators clashed with police dressed in riot gear.
The 30 to 50 protesters were yelling and causing a disturbance, according to police. They want a federal investigation into the Stockton Police Department.
It started out as a chance for public comment that erupted into public protest. This time, all of it caught on tape.
“They were verbal and physical altercations with cops, and just by reviewing some of the video on social media, you can see exactly what the protesters were doing,” explained Officer Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.
The video shows 20 Stockton police officers in riot gear as they were trying to escort demonstrators out of Tuesday night’s Stockton city council meeting.
“I didn’t sign up for mayor to have armed guards at meetings. It’s ridiculous,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs at the meeting, after the incident.
Several speakers, including the mothers of two men killed by law enforcement, came to speak during the public-comment portion of the council meeting.
“They are there because they are in pain. Their children have been killed and they are wanting answers,” explained Bobby Bivens, president of the Stockton-San Joaquin NAACP.
But when one activist wanted to speak on sanctuary cities, mayor Tubbs told him to wait, and to speak on the topic when it came up on the agenda later in the evening. The speaker refused, so mayor Tubbs called a recess.
That’s when the crowds started to chant in protest, which in turn, forced a response from police. The city says it was necessary to call police as a matter of public safety. “It didn’t feel safe. It was a little intimidating,” said Daniel Lopez, a senior advisor Mayor Tubbs.
But as the cops asked people to leave, the confrontation escalated. And that is raising concerns with groups like the NAACP.
The NAACP says the community has the right to get answers on fatal police shootings. They admit that some in attendance were disruptive, yet they say the police seemed ready for a fight.
“I don’t like it when the police come wearing a riot masks and all that. I believe that just escalates the problem,” said Bivens.
Stockton police filed a report with the San Joaquin County district attorney’s office Wednesday morning.