A loud group of protesters interrupted Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech about relations between police and local communities at a church in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday night.
About a dozen audience members suddenly stood up and waved signs with messages such as “Stop lying to the people” and chanting, “No justice, no peace!”
After security confronted them, the demonstrators stormed out of the church as a group.
Holder was addressing the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in August, setting off a series of sometimes violent protests that escalated again last week after the officer was not indicted.
President Barack Obama tasked Holder to lead part of the federal government’s efforts to enact reforms to improve the relationship between communities of colour and local police departments. However, the attorney general’s hecklers weren’t satisfied with the president’s promises.
After the interruption, Holder drew a long round of applause by praising the people who had just heckled him.
“There will be a tendency on the part of some to condemn what we just saw but we should not. What we saw there was a genuine expression of concern and involvement. And it is through that level of involvement, that level of concern, and I hope a level of perseverance and commitment, that change ultimately will come. And so let me be clear, let me be clear, I ain’t mad at ya,” he said.
Watch video of the heecklers and Holder’s response below.
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