The citizens attending a Newark, NJ city council meeting, rushed the podium after Democrat, Cory Booker pulls a fast one to fill a vacant seat with his preferred choice. Pepper spray was used and citizens were chanting "Cory's gotta go."
A behind-the-scenes political maneuver by Newark Mayor Cory Booker to fill a vacant council seat with his choice led to a near-riot in city hall tonight, with dozens of residents rushing the council stage and police responding with pepper-spray.
After weeks of jockeying for Rep. Donald Payne’s successor, Booker made an unprecedented personal appearance to cast the deciding vote with his council allies for Shanique Davis Speight, a longtime ally of power broker Stephen Adubato, over the angry objections of residents.
"In the absence of a quorum, I have an obligation to sit in," Booker said, though he was barely audible over the din.
The packed city council chamber was gearing up for a showdown over the appointment as well known figures including former Mayor Sharpe James, Amiri and Amina Baraka, former Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins and former Council President Donald Bradley came to back their choices.
Councilman Ras Baraka attempted to speak but was not recognized by Councilman Anibal Ramos, who was serving as acting president. Instead Ramos proceeded with the nomination of Speight.
[WATCH news video below]
Perhaps these angry citizens who reelected Booker in 2010 will rethink their support in his next election or if he decides to challenge Chris Christie for the governorship in 2013 as reports suggest he is thinking about doing.
Other videos from YouTube showing the chaotic meeting on 11/20/12, below:
Newark City Council Meeting Brawl 11/20/2012 two
Newark City Council Meeting Brawl 11/20/2012 three