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April 14, 2016

Protesters who interrupted Bill Clinton arrested during demonstration outside Fox29 studios

Erica Mines and Rufus Farmer among trio arrested Thursday during protest

Demonstrations Police
04142016_Erica_Mines Brian Hickey/PhillyVoice

Erica Mines speaks with reporters after she interrupted former President Bill Clinton during a campaign event for his wife, Hillary.

Philadelphia police arrested three protesters who demonstrated Thursday morning outside of the Fox29 studios at Fourth and Market streets.

Arrested were Erica Mines and Rufus Farmer, who interrupted former President Bill Clinton last week during a Mount Airy campaign event for his wife, Hillary. Police said no charges have been filed against the trio, which also included Kamau Mkafele Mshale.

Related story: Bill stumps for Hillary at Northwest Philly rec center, battles protesters

The demonstrators, members of the Philadelphia Coalition for Racial Economic and Legal Justice (REAL), were protesting the television network's coverage of the relationship between Philadelphia police and the black community.

The coalition released a press advisory Thursday alleging the arrests were an attempt to disrupt the group's "Day of Rage – Shut It Down" march.

That demonstration was being held Thursday afternoon to demand an end to stop-and-frisk policing and the formation of a black community police commission charged with hiring, firing and training police officers in the black community. The protest was slated to begin at 4 p.m. at Broad Street and Girard Avenue.

At the Clinton event last week, Mines and Farmer were among protesters that held signs reading "Hillary Clinton is a Murderer" and "Black Youth Are Not Super Predators." They objected to a crime bill signed by Clinton in 1994, saying it harmed black communities.

Clinton attempted to engage the protesters, but lost his calm, saying they were "defending the people who kill the lives you say matter." The exchange drew national media attention, though a subsequent poll claimed to show the dust-up had no negative effect on either of the Clintons' favorability ratings.