Silent protest at city council demands action for Patrick Mumfor - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Silent protest at city council demands action for Patrick Mumford

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A silent protest at Savannah's City Council meeting Thursday called for action from city leaders and police.

Demonstrators stood in support of Patrick Mumford, a Savannah man who was at the center of a police confrontation caught on camera that has gained attention around the country.

About a dozen demonstrators sat in the council chambers during Thursday’s city council meeting, hoping to be acknowledged on behalf of Patrick Mumford.

Mumford was the subject of a police body-cam video that shows a confrontation between Mumford and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officers, who thought the 24-year-old is a suspect in a warrant search.

The demonstrators did not use their names, but simply wore t-shirts that read "My Name is Patrick" and wore nametags that said the same.

They were hoping to be acknowledged on behalf of Mumford, and that moment finally came when Alderman Van Johnson recognized them at the end of the meeting.

"I just do not think these are the types of incidents that we need to allow to be either silenced or swept under the rug,” said Alderman Johnson.

The District 1 alderman said he brought it up on the public forum not to pass judgment, but to ensure the issue stays top-of-mind.

"In the streets of Savannah, I'm Patrick. I'm that guy, and we need to make very, very sure not only do we support our officers in doing the right thing, but when we were wrong, we do the right thing as well,” said Alderman Johnson.

The attorney representing Mumford also spoke after the council meeting, saying the family wants transparency from police, accountability, and an apology.

"Right now, we want transparency, we want an apology, and we want accountability,” said Attorney Will Claiborne.

Mumford's attorney has asked police to release personnel records for the officers involved as well as any documentation of previous complaints against them. He says so far, no answer.

One of the demonstrators said their group was ignored by every member of the council after the meeting except for Alderman Van Johnson and Alderman John Hall.

"No one acknowledged us. They walked past us. So we need to remember not only when it's election time, when they want to come and kiss us and want money from us -- what about now? They shunned us and turned their backs on us. All of them except for Van Johnson and John Hall,” a demonstrator said.

That demonstrator went on to say that they felt slighted and that they need better representation in Savannah.

Thursday, Alderman Johnson highlighted the importance of proper police training. And in our exclusive interview with Patrick Mumford, he said the same.

"I really think they need to be trained a little bit more like how to handle certain situations or how they come about approaching the public on certain things. It would probably be a better way for them and a better way I guess for me as a black person to look at them when they come up you know treat everybody with respect,” said Mumford.

On that day, five months ago, Mumford says he wasn't treated with that respect.

"I didn't feel like I was, sir,” said Mumford.

SCMPD has since launched an internal investigation into the incident. Chief Jack Lumpkin has also released a statement in response to it.

Beyond that statement, police have declined to comment on the situation.

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