On Thursday, Philadelphia cops held a rally in support of police called “Back the Blue” rally. This rally was in response to a protest that was held last week outside the house of Officer Ryan Pownall by local Black Lives Matter activists. In June, Officer Ryan Pownall fatally shot a civilian named David Jones.
The “Back the Blue” rally was held at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 headquarters.
Pownall is a 12-year veteran, who shot Jones in the back and buttocks following a struggle after Pownall found a gun in Jones’ waistband. Jones was stopped for riding an illegal dirt bike in North Philadelphia. Pownall warned Jones not to touch the gun before Jones allegedly grabbed the handgun and then fled. According to a witness, Jones dropped the gun before running and a fully loaded .9mm handgun was found at the scene. Jones was shot while he was running and died at Temple University Hospital. This is the second time Pownall shot a black man in the back while he was fleeing.
During the rally, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby made a statement that has caused a lot of stir.
“When you go to work each day, you shouldn’t have to worry that a pack of rabid animals will suddenly show up at your home and openly threaten your family,” McNesby stated.
He continued, “These are not activists, they are racist hate groups determined to instigate violence.”
Asa Khalif, the local leader of the city’s Black Lives Matter chapter, explained the members are simply practicing their First Amendment right.
“We will not let words stop us,” Khalif stated. “The only words we’re using is justice for David Jones, and we will not be sidetracked by the bullying tactics of the FOP.”
He also added that McNesby’s comments are ridiculous stating, “We’re not going to dignify that with an answer. That ridiculous comment doesn’t deserve a response. I’ll simply say, ‘Justice for David Jones.'”
The fatal shooting is still being investigated by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
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