The low turnout at a Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta protest at Roswell City Hall Monday evening did not stop the group from making its presence known during the city council meeting.
The protest was organized to call for the firing of Officer James Van Alstine, who reportedly broke Shanita Maeberry's jaw during a struggle earlier this month. Alstine was placing the woman under arrest after marijuana was found in her purse.
Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta chapter president Sir Maejor Page and a few others quietly took seats in the room about 20 minutes after the 7 p.m. meeting started. Business continued as usual for a while.
But when the council asked if anyone had comment on a resolution to rename the Waller Park Extension, Page raised his hand.
He approached the microphone and suggested that it would only be fitting to rename the park for Shanita Maeberry, who was "brutally beaten" by Roswell police.
"As a community, we're saying we want our park named after our sister," Page said. "And we want this officer fired."
Council members did not publicly respond to his comments and the meeting adjourned a few minutes later.
As people filed out, Page spoke loudly to a man who apparently told him "police lives matter."
Police eventually came over and escorted Page out of the room as he repeatedly told officers "you don't have to push me."
The protest came hours after Page met with Roswell Mayor Jere Wood and police Chief Rusty Grant Monday morning to demand Alstine's firing. City officials, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on the case.
The city did release videos to the media soon after the incident, the spokeswoman said.