Man removed from Huntsville City Council meeting in handcuffs

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A man was removed from Thursday night’s Huntsville City Council meeting in handcuffs.

News 19 crews on the scene saw a man later identified through jail records as Garrick Rawls, 35. He was booked into the Madison County Jail for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace at 7:57 p.m.

Activists have been using the public comment portion of Huntsville’s City Council meeting for more than a year, to speak against racial injustice, police reform and other social justice issues.

Person after person stood to speak before the council Thursday night about social justice issues. Most mentioned the names of those killed by law enforcement in recent years.

According to News 19 crews in the council chambers, there was a walkout protest that started after someone finished speaking to the council. A group started chanting “Say their names.”

The families of people who died at the hands of police said they are standing together and using their voices to raise awareness. Families, friends and neighbors of Bradley Pugh, Crystal Ragland, Dana Fletcher and Jeffery Parker joined the demonstration.

The Council took an intermission and asked people to leave for being disruptive. Rawls was handcuffed and escorted out by officers.

A group of people demonstrated before the meeting for those who have lost their lives at the hands of police officers in north Alabama. They placed black trash bags with “Madison County Coroner” stamped on them to resemble body bags behind signs with the names of people who have been killed by police.

Activists told News 19 they won’t stop advocating for police reform in the city.

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