By Prescotte Stokes III, AL.com
Protestors sitting in Sessions office
Six people including NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks have been arrested during a sit-in staged at the Mobile office of Sen. Jeff Sessions. The group was protesting Sessions’ nomination by President-elect Donald Trump to be U. S. Attorney General.
While there were about 30 protesters at the sit-in when it began around midday on Tuesday, many of them left before the arrests were made by the Mobile Police Department just before 7:00 p.m. The NAACP and other organizations held similar protests outside Senator Sessions offices in Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville and Dothan.
The remaining members that were arrested were: Alabama State Conference President, Benard Simelton, Humanity in Action Fellow, Devon Crawford, the President of Mobile Chapter 5044, Lizzetta McConnell, National Director of the Youth and College Division of NAACP, Stephen Green and Joe Keffer.
NAACP President Cornell William Brooks tweeted shortly before 6:30 p.m. that he believed he and others occupying the office were soon to be arrested.”The building manager has requested that we leave. And the police have just arrived. We are about to be arrested.”
Earlier today, Brooks joined Alabama NAACP President Bernard Simelton to rebuke Sessions — President-elect Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. The national organization and the Mobile chapter said they would sit in Sessions’ office until he withdraws his attorney general nomination or they get arrested.
“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming attorney general of the United States,” Brooks said in a statement. “Sen. Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped up charges of voter fraud. As an opponent of the vote, he can’t be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights.”
Shortly after the press conference held by the NAACP at Sen. Sessions Mobile office located at 41 West I-65 Service Road North, Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for Sen. Sessions released this statement.
“Jeff Sessions has dedicated his career to upholding the rule of law, ensuring public safety and prosecuting government corruption. Many African-American leaders who’ve known him for decades attest to this and have welcomed his nomination to be the next Attorney General. These false portrayals of Senator Sessions will fail as tired, recycled, hyperbolic charges that have been thoroughly rebuked and discredited. From the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Sheriffs Association to civil rights leaders and African-American elected officials, to victims’ rights organizations, Senator Sessions has inspired confidence from people across the country that he will return the Department of Justice to an agency the American people can be proud of once again.”
According to Mobile County jail records all six of the arrested members have been charged with second-degree criminal trespassing. McConnell, the President of Mobile Chapter of the NAACP has a court date set for her charge on January 30 at 8:00 a.m.