Local NAACP chapter president forcibly removed from city council meeting in conflict with police
Rodney Jones, who has an ongoing problem with police in his south Florida community tried to voice his frustrations, but at a certain point was forced from the microphone
A leader of a Florida NAACP chapter got into a physical confrontation with authorities as he tried to detail a complaint he had against police in the town where he lives.
Rodney Jones, president of the Manatee County chapter of NAACP was aggressively removed from the Bradenton City Council meeting on Wednesday after he refused to leave the podium after his speaking time was done.
Jones was present at the meeting to detail a complaint that was filed against the Bradenton Police Department when he was forced to vacate the podium. He is now facing charges of disturbing a public meeting and resisting arrest without violence.
Jones missed the public comment portion of the meeting after arriving late. During the assembly, he asked to address the council, which according to the Miami Herald, was granted for the end of the meeting by Mayor Wayne Poston.
Taking tot he podium Jones said he wanted to issue a complaint against the Bradenton police because he did not feel safe for himself or his 15-year-old child.
“I feel like my life is in danger,” Jones said.
Jones’ fear comes from an incident where Bradenton Police vehicles were parked outside of his home on April 22. Poston, who doubles as commissioner of police, revealed he spoke with Police Chief Melanie Bevan, which she confirmed with the Bradenton Herald.
During his details of the account, Jones exceeded the three minutes allocated for public comment, however, he said he would keep going until he finished.
“So let me finish this, ‘cause I’m going to finish or you’re going to have to arrest me,” Jones said.
From that moment the incident escalated. Jones was approached by an officer who he told not to touch him, rejected the opportunity to speak with Bevan outside and pointed at council members while walking toward them. Eventually, Bevan stepped in between Jones and the council members before Jones was forced outside as he continued to shout details and attempt to stay in the meeting space.
Post the incident, Jones detailed the department has “beefed up” the matter how complaints are handled in the police department while ensuring accusations against officers are taken seriously.
Jones previously unsuccessfully ran for Manatee County school board. This was not the first time he has had complaints against Bradenton PD and considered legal action against the Bradenton Housing Authority.