SEIU Leader Incites Riot After Cory Booker Makes Controversial Vote
On Tuesday, a leader of a Newark, New Jersey Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chapter incited a riot at city hall after he charged the dais at a council meeting, allegedly hit a woman and a child, and had to be restrained with pepper spray before he was arrested.
After Newark Mayor Cory Booker executed a power play by casting the deciding vote to appoint Shanique Davis Speight to a vacant city council post, SEIU Local 617 President Rahaman Muhammad stormed to the front of the city hall and lunged at Speight. Melees ensued.
One faction wanted to appoint for Mayor Sharpe James’ son, John Sharpe James, who is a vocal opponent of Booker’s. Another faction allied with Booker preferred Shanique Davis Speight. According to NJ.com, Booker made an “unprecedented personal appearance to cast the deciding vote.”
"In the absence of a quorum, I have an obligation to sit in," Booker said before casting the vote.
Booker’s chief-of-staff, Modia Butler wanted to “scuttle the appointment” of a Booker enemy and orchestrated the last-minute appearance by Booker to cast the vote for Speight.
Then, chaos broke out. And what ensued represented tribal city politics at its absolute worst.