Protesters in a small Texas town outside Dallas who are upset over the police killing of an unarmed Latino teenager took over a City Council meeting and ended up chasing the mayor away in a police car, WFAA reports.
The protests started in Farmers Branch on Tuesday night with just a single girl holding a sign, but protesters then started rolling in via buses. The meeting ended with about 200 people chanting the name of the slain teen, Jose Cruz, and forcing Mayor Bob Phelps to adjourn the meeting.
— Jobin Panicker (@jobinpnews) May 18, 2016
Police officers then escorted the mayor and council members out, hustling Phelps into a police car and quickly driving away. Video shot by WFAA’s Jobin Panicker shows scores of protesters in red shirts packing City Hall and then following the mayor out of the parking lot.
“We want to meet with you, or we want to meet with somebody from the city of Farmers Branch to discuss the murder of Jose Cruz,” protest leader Carlos Quintanilla said, according to WFAA. “We will not leave today until we have a response from you or the city manager,” he continued. “And if not, we’ll go to your home, mayor.”
Phelps responded, “You better not,” according to the station.
Video shows police officers tussling with protesters who were trying to follow Phelps as he was hustled into the police car, and officers can be heard saying, “go go go go” as the car fled the scene.
WFAA reached Phelps by phone from inside the car to ask about being chased off by protesters.
“It kind of scares you,” he responded. “But I have a good police department taking care of me.”
Farmers Branch police officer Ken Johnson was arrested and charged with murder for shooting and killing Cruz, who was 16, in March. Johnson was off-duty and not in uniform. Cruz was with a friend, Edgar Rodriguez, and Johnson had accused them of breaking into his car outside his home.
Rodriguez, who was injured in the shooting, said Johnson never identified himself.
Watch video from Tuesday night’s council meeting, as posted by WFAA, here: