City Hall scuffle ends with probation

At a sentencing hearing with racial and First Amendment overtones yesterday, two men received probation for their roles in a City Council chambers scuffle that left one police officer injured.

Judge Roxanne Covington sentenced Wali Rahman to two years probation and anger-management classes, while Franklin Moses got one year probation following August convictions for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp had sought jail time.

In a balcony altercation caught on video before Mayor Michael Nutter’s March 2009 budget address, police Sgt. Derek Grant is shown grabbing Rahman’s arm and throat. Rahman then steps into a two-handed shove. The prosecution argued Rahman struck Grant.

“I’ve represented some bad people who’ve done some bad things and had to hold my nose while doing so, but these two are not bad people,” defense attorney Michael Coard said. He may file an appeal of the sentences.

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