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Black Lives Matter Bloomington Protesters Shut Down City Council

City Council Members and Black Lives Matter Organizers argue after a swiftly adjourned City Council meeting (WTIU/WFIU News).

Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted Wednesday night’s Bloomington City Council meeting just minutes after it started.

It’s the latest in a series of protests over the city’s recent purchase of an armored vehicle for the police department.

Council Member Dave Rollo was speaking about the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the purchase of an armored vehicle for the city, when a protester named Jada Bee interjected.

Within minutes the room erupted into chaos and council president Dorothy Granger called to adjourn the council meeting. Coucilmembers voted 5 to 4 in favor of adjourning the meeting.

 

Protesters say they took offense that Rollo, who is in favor of the armored vehicle at the center of the controversy, used Dr. King’s words as a weapon against them.

Members of Black Lives Matter and some city council members met Tuesday night to work on a resolution requesting Mayor John Hamilton seek council approval of the armored vehicle purchase before moving forward.

Protester Jada Bee interrupts an interview with Bloomington City Council President Dorothy Granger (Tyler Lake, WFIU/WTIU News)

Black Lives Matter Organizer Vauhxx Booker says they were there to have a conversation about that resolution, until Rollo’s speech.

“The purpose was to engage and talk about this upcoming resolution,” Booker says, “I don’t think some of the council members knew neither did Black Lives Matter that Councilman Rollo would proceed to lecture black activist about Dr. King and his legacy.”

Booker says Black Lives Matter Bloomington protesters will be in attendance at next week’s City Council meeting unless the Mayor’s office halts the purchase.

The resolution is on the agenda for a council meeting on April 18.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the vote to adjourn the meeting was 6 to 3.

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