Melee Breaks Out at Newark City Council Meeting

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Newark City Hall Tuesday night was the scene of council members walking off in protest, a crowd of angry residents rushing the podium and police using pepper spray on residents and a union leader.

Tensions had been simmering over who would fill the vacant council seat left by Donald Payne Junior, the former Newark City Council President who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.

One camp wanted to see John Sharpe James, the son of former Mayor Sharpe James take the open seat.

But according to The Star Ledger, chaos erupted after Mayor Cory Booker showed up in a carefully orchestrated move to cast the deciding vote along with his council allies to appoint his choice for the open seat, Shanique Davis Speight.

The mayor was kept behind the scenes before his vote — with a plan to emerge in the event of a tie or if there was no quorum — and his appearance triggered the chaos.

Speight had to be sworn in later in a council chamber.


Comments [2]

Karen Young from Brooklyn

WNYC has spent a lot of airtime on this event, yet has managed to leave out most of the key information. If you saw the film about Booker's first run for mayor, "Street Fight," you know how the incumbent mayor, Sharpe James, was incredibly corrupt. He did nothing to help the people of Newark, and pulled out every dirty trick in the book to defeat Booker. For him it was all about patronage and lining his own pocket, but he sold himself as "blacker" than Booker and, sadly, people bought it. Black people deserve better. Booker's not perfect, and Newark still has horrible problems, but I feel he's honest and really trying to make things better. WNYC totally missed the real conflict here and seemed to be covering the story mainly so they could say Booker' bad and losing support.

Nov. 21 2012 07:32 PM

This issue has nothng to do with Sharpe Jame's son. Anibel Ramos did not recognize Councilman Baraka when he tried to ask a q uestion because Councilman Baraka was going to raise the issue of a resoultion passed by the previous council indicating that Newark fill vacant seats of unexpired terms with the next highest vote getter in the previous municiple election. The view was this would keep politics from entering the picture . If 5000 citizens have voted for someone and they came in second should not they be the logical choice for a vacant seat? This was about Democracy. The fact that John James was the second highest vote getter was irrelevent. Cory Booker is the one who did not want to honor the resolution. He wanted his own person in and he proceeded to insult 5000 voters so he could cast his one vote for his person. This is disrespectful to the electorate . Mayor Booker says he did everything legally. Well it was legal in Germany to kill Jews but it was wrong and immoral. It was legal to deprive blacks of the right to vote in many southern states but it was immoral and it was wrong. What Cory Booker did while it may be seen as slick politics was wrong. It has changed my whole perception of him as a honest politician.

I am a registered Democrat but I will vote for Chis Christy when he runs for governor and not for Mayor Booker. I think the citizens of Newark especially the blacks citizens should seriously think of doing the same.
This man clearly has no respect for them even though he is black.

Nov. 21 2012 04:33 PM

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