'Black Lives Matter' calls for Philly DA's resignation

Monday, March 27, 2017
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Members of the ?Black Lives Matter? group gathered on Monday morning to call for the resignation of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Members of the 'Black Lives Matter' group gathered on Monday morning to call for the resignation of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

Williams is facing a 23 count indictment for allegedly seeking out thousands of dollars in bribes.

Traffic was briefly jammed in the area as the group made their demands heard.

"We want you out. We want you out today," said Asa Khalif.

The gathering was small, about a half a dozen people, but at times tensions were high - especially when protestors demanded they be let into the building.

"Why can't we get inside of a public building? We want to get inside," Khalif was heard to say.

Khalif organized the demonstration, hoping to add to mounting pressure for the embattled DA to step down.

"This office affects black lives, number one. This office has done nothing but put their foot on black and brown people and poor people," he said.

When asked if he felt if Williams was ever competent to hold office, Chris Norris said "When he took office, yeah. And it's important to note that as soon as he took office the pay to play began."

As for the involvement of Black Lives Matter's in calls for Williams' resignation? Members say his race is irrelevant.

"Eight years have shown us that a black face in a high place does nothing," said Norris.

But some bystanders were torn. Erica Dennis feels the city's top prosecutor has done more good than bad.

"I have to look at it like this and everything. There's been a lot of crime in the city for a long time and he did do some common good for the city of Philadelphia," she said.

Still, organizers say his good deeds pale in comparison to his alleged misconduct.

"Seth Williams has crossed the line, committed a crime, and now he must resign," Norris said.

Organizers say the barricades and the police presence seen Monday morning will become a familiar sight to Philadelphians, as they will continue protesting until Seth Williams resigns.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office released a statement, saying, "This indictment is against one individual, not an office full of dedicated career prosecutors and professional support staff."

The statement went on to say the assistant district attorneys will continue to do their jobs to protect the citizens of this city.