City Council meeting ends with pepper spray

8:37 AM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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Newark, NJ (NEWS 12/CNN) - It started out as a City Council meeting in Newark, New Jersey, but by the time it was over, it looked more like a bar room brawl.

The chaos began shortly after Mayor Cory Booker made a rare appearance at the meeting Tuesday to cast the deciding vote for a vacant City Council seat.

Council members who were aligned with Booker moved to have the vote taken quickly, which angered some spectators.

That's when pandemonium broke out.

Witnesses say people started rushing toward the front of the meeting to stop the swearing in from taking place.

Police had to step in and try to control the crowd and actually started to mace people.

"People were angry or mad, people were arrested, and then the police officers used mace in a public form like a city council meeting. People were gasping for air. Some had to be carried to the hospital. I've never witnessed the shame on our city," said former Mayor Sharpe James.

Booker's choice for the vacant seat, Shanique Davis Speight, was later sworn in during a private ceremony.


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