PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — About 10 furious protesters came face-to-face with dozens Philadelphia Police officers tonight outside the city’s Fraternal Order of Police headquarters.
The group shouted things like: “No good cops in a racist system!” using a megaphone inches from the faces of officers. Inside the FOP building, union members were hosting a private fundraiser for Officer Ryan Pownall.
Pownall, a 12-year veteran of the force, is currently suspended from duty with intent to dismiss for shooting 30-year-old David Jones in the back, killing him.
“We are we celebrating a murderer,” exclaimed protester Isaac Gardner. “It’s a slap in the face to everyone, especially the taxpayers, that you have cops out here protecting a party from people protesting a killer.”
However, Pownall supporters argue the officer was in a struggle for his life when the fatal shooting occurred. He stopped Jones for dirt biking erratically in the 4200 block Whitaker Avenue on June 8 only to discover a gun, which led to a struggle.
A spokesman for the police union would only say off camera that the people inside the building never asked for any official police protection from the city for the private event.
After about an hour and a half of profanity-laced shouting at party-goers and police the demonstrators began to leave. It was at that moment there was a near scuffle with two arriving Pownall supporters. But police quickly separated the sides.
Those protesting the FOP were largely the same group who protested outside Pownall’s home.
That rally caused the union to ask a judge stop the city from releasing the names of officers involved in shootings within 72 hours, which is Philadelphia policy. A judge denied that request Friday.