BLM Activists Crash Fundraiser for Philly Officer Who Shot Black Man In the Back
About a dozen members of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania gathered over the weekend to protest a Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police fundraiser for an officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop earlier this year.
A fundraiser for suspended officer Ryan Pownhall took place Sunday, Oct. 1, during which local BLM activists and supporters with the Justice for David Jones Coalition demonstrated outside FOP headquarters, according to NBC Philadelphia. Police supporters paid $40 each to attend the event and all proceeds went directly to Pownhall’s family.
As the protest unfolded, over 30 officers stood outside the FOP Lodge and secured a barrier around the building.
“Our dear brother David Jones,” BLM Pennsylvania leader Asa Khalif yelled through a loudspeaker. “A man that was loved by his family, his friends and his community — you shot him in the back! And he’s dead! And now you have to deal with the consequences! Now, you throw a party! You’re celebrating killing black people!”
Pownhall, a 12-year veteran of the force, fatally shot David Jones, 30, during a traffic stop on June 8, hitting him in the back and the buttocks. Authorities said the deadly shooting followed a struggle between Jones and the officer, and that Jones was armed with a gun.
The Philadelphia man was initially stopped for riding a dirt bike city streets, which is illegal, the news site reported. Surveillance video showed Jones running away from the officer as he was shot.
In September, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced that Pownhall was suspended with intent to dismiss following an investigation into the matter.
“There were serious policy violations that were committed — ones that were on video,” Ross said at a press conference. “It’s not even a question of what someone’s perception was versus another’s. I saw it. The shooting investigators saw it. And that’s where it starts and stops.”
BLM activists protested the shooting earlier this year when they gathered outside Pownhall’s North Philly home and demanded that he be charged with Jones’ murder. Their demonstration drew a controversial response from Philly FOP President John McNesby who likened the group to a “pack of rabid animals.”
Pownhall has not been charged with a crime since his suspension.