SHARON HILL, Pa. (CBS) — Community leaders in Delaware County are demanding justice for 8-year-old Fanta Bility. She was shot outside an Academy Park High football game on Aug. 27, and Delaware County’s District Attorney said there’s a “high probability” that police were responsible for the gunfire.
“People say that the police are at the games to protect our children, to protect and serve. Well, who protects us from the police?” football coach Don King said.
Outside of a standing room only council meeting Thursday night, emotions ran high as Sharon Hill residents called into question the circumstances that may have led officers to shoot into a crowd of people.
Inside, Sharon Hill borough leaders appointed former Philadelphia district attorney Kelley Hodge as special counsel to investigate their department’s policy and procedures.
“The work that will be done by us will have this borough in mind, as well as what’s best moving forward,” Hodge said.
Hodge’s appointment comes weeks after the Delaware County district attorney found that officer gunfire may have killed 8-year-old Fanta and injured three others.
“When we found out it was from our own police officers, we were devastated because we know for a fact had that been a field filled with white families — even if they heard a gunshot — they would not have fired up that field the way they did,” Sharon Hill resident Donna Hunter said.
The Delaware County Black Caucus met at the Academy Park High School Football Field in Sharon Hill on Thursday morning. Three weeks since this tragic incident, and they still don’t know the names of the officers who may be involved in the shooting.
They also want to know exactly who is responsible for the young girl’s death.
Fanta’s mother fought through tears Thursday after another mother shared her grief of losing a child to gun violence.
Last month, the Delaware County District Attorney said three Sharon Hill police officers may have killed the 8-year-old following the Academy Park High School Football game against Pennsbury High School.
The DA’s office said the incident began after there was alleged gunfire toward the direction of those three officers who were observing the crowd leaving the football stadium. The DA also said the alleged gunfire struck a victim and resulted in the officers discharging their weapons.
“Why would someone shoot in a crowd?” State Sen. Anthony Williams questioned.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave and now the Delaware County Black Caucus is pushing for accountability.
“The pain that all of us are experiencing during this period of time is beyond words,” Williams said. “While we’re gathered here today is because there’s a history that we’re now breaking the chain of and that is between the judicial system and innocent victims that find themselves in the throw of what justice should look like and sometimes it falls short.”
Opinions are mixed about whether the new special counsel appointment will put the questions to rest.
“I am happy to hear that council is doing something,” Hunter said.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” a woman said.
The Delaware County District Attorney tells CBS3 he’s taking his time with this case to make sure a thorough investigation is conducted.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo and Jasmine Payoute contributed to this report.