How Did Cory Booker’s Newark City Council Meeting End in Pepper Spray and Handcuffs?
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker is best known for interacting with his constituents through Twitter and rescuing neighbors from house fires. But last night, Booker almost became known for being the only American mayor to be publicly flogged at a city council meeting.
Police pepper-sprayed attendants of Newark’s city council meeting last night, after a procedural move by Mayor Cory Booker caused angry citizens to storm the stage in protest.
The cause for the chaos was the appointment of Booker’s ally, Shanique Davis Speight, to a city council slot left vacant by Donald Payne Jr., now a congressman.
Booker’s opponents were pushing for John James, the son of former Newark mayor Sharpe James, who Booker defeated in 2006, to claim the vacant seat. But a councilman supporting James was silenced by Booker’s allies and not recognized by the acting chair, so he and three other council-members stormed out in protest, leaving the council without a quorum.
The rules allow Booker to step in and cast a deciding vote when there is not a quorum, and so he did, nominating Speight to the empty seat. This was obviously planned by Booker’s team since Booker had not been to a city council meeting in over a year, and the strategy infuriated many at the meeting, who began screaming, “Cory’s Gotta Go!”
When Speight approached the stage to be sworn in, protesters stormed the stage, and were pepper sprayed by police.
See footage from the meeting HERE
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