State of emergency declared in Quartzsite, Ariz.Posted: Updated:
QUARTZSITE, Ariz. - A state of emergency has been declared in the small western Arizona town of Quartzsite after a video of a woman being arrested during a public city council meeting went viral and prompted death threats to council members.
Jennifer "Jade" Jones, a blogger and vocal critic of local government, was delivering remarks during the public comment session of a June 28 city council meeting when she was interrupted.
A video posted on YouTube shows council members interrupting her and asking her to leave or be escorted out.
The mayor of Quartzsite, Ed Foster, is heard telling officers to leave Jones alone. "Officer, that woman has the floor you are violating my rules of order," says Foster.
In the end Jones is restrained and escorted out of the council chambers. On her blog she says her arm was injured in the fracas.
The video has sparked public outrage from some who call it a violation of Jones' first amendment rights.
Since it went public, Mayor Foster has been ousted and Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert has taken control of the town.
Mayor Ed Foster told The Associated Press on Monday that the town council held a last-minute meeting that was closed to the public Sunday night, declaring a state of emergency in the 3,600-person town just east of the California city of Blythe.
Foster alleges corruption with city government and says money is mysteriously disappearing. He was elected on a promise to clean up problems at town hall, but now faces a possible recall.
The Associated Press contributed to this story