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Speakers Clash At City Council Hearing Amid Talks To Limit Public Comment

By Ted Cox | October 5, 2016 8:16am
 Queen Sister set off a brouhaha in the City Council Tuesday.
Queen Sister set off a brouhaha in the City Council Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — One day before the City Council considers new limits on public comments, the discussion session at a joint committee considering police reform went wild Tuesday, resulting in many people getting tossed out.

George Blakemore wasn't at the center of the brouhaha, but he was a catalyst. Blakemore was the leadoff speaker in the public-comment session at the four-hour point of what turned out to be a marathon six-hour-plus joint committee meeting to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal for a Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

After several minutes of Blakemore commenting on Council practices, Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), chairman of the Budget Committee, had his microphone shut off.

That set off Queen Sister, who had also signed up to speak. She rose in the gallery and started scolding Austin, at one point shouting, "Shove it up your a--!"

Police moved in to usher the woman out, but other members of the gallery defended her speech. They were ushered out as well, but not without a few shouts telling City Hall officers to "get your f-----g hands off me!"

The package of police reforms passed by a 21-4 vote, in spite of many public comments opposed, although fewer than there might have been otherwise.

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