PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of Black Lives Matter activists took to the District Attorney’s Office in Center City Monday morning.
They’re pushing for the resignation of DA Seth Williams who was indicted on corruption charges last week.
In the pouring rain, a handful of protesters moved from the sidewalk in front of the DA’s office, which was blocked by barricades and police officers, to the street where they were weaving around cars and buses.
— Tim Jimenez (@TimJRadio) March 27, 2017
Asa Khalif, with Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania, is pushing for Seth Williams to step down.
“You work for the people. We don’t work for you, you work for us,” said Khalif.
He added, “Black, white it doesn’t matter, corruption hurts everyone.”
Another protester says the public needs to know more about how the DA’s alleged actions may have affected other cases.
“I mean it was pay to play. I believe the Mayor should call for a judicial review.”
Williams was once a rising political star in Philadelphia and the Democratic Party. He is accused of bribery, extortion and other charges laid out in a 50-page federal indictment put out last week by the Justice Department.
Tuesday will mark one week since authorities with the Department of Justice announced the charges.
“Mr. Williams simply took money that did not belong to him and then he lied about it,” U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said at a news conference last week.
Authorities say he accepted more than $100,000 in gifts. They also say Williams put $10,000 in his own account that was supposed to go to a relative to pay nursing home expenses.
Black Lives Matter members say though Williams may be innocent until proven guilty, he can’t be effective with these allegations looming like an albatross over him.
“All he has to do is resign,” said activist Chris Norris. “He no longer wants to serve the public. He didn’t want to serve the public when he began. He’s been self-interested all along and we’re asking him now for one moment of candor where he can put the public first and leave.”
Mayor Jim Kenney has called on Williams to resign, and local FOP leadership has as well.
Khalif says it’s a rare moment when Black Lives Matter and the police union are on the same page.
Last Friday, Williams’ attorney asked to be taken off the case. Michael Diamondstein alleges Williams cannot afford his services.
Williams’ term ends next January, and as of this writing he has not stepped down or signaled that he will.