A man once called a “free speech champion” let off a stink bomb while dressed in a poop emoji costume during a local council meeting.
Phil Ateto committed the strange act during a meeting of the Anne Arundel County Council in Maryland, USA.
After giving a long speech about how the council should not approve a new “Police Accountability Board” with taking on the thoughts of the Anne Arundel County Coalition for Police Accountability, he let off a silent but deadly stink bomb in the chamber.
Apart from Ateto – who was then escorted out by local police officials – and one other man at the speakers table with him, the only other people impacted by the smell were seven council members on a panel.
However, Ateto waited until the room filled with more people before letting it off.
This led to the head of the council declaring: “We've detected a smell of something burning in the chambers.
“So we would like to ask our officers to walk around and see if the can identify anything.
“Actually, let's take a brief recess…”
The source of the smell was found, as security officials told the meeting chairman to clear the chambers until the smell had gone.
They could then be seen escorting Ateto out of the building – but no further action would be taken.
In 2019, Ateto was awarded the Backbone Award: "Free Speech Champion" by the Backbone Campaign – which is basically a very small Donald Trump-supporting group.
He was given the award “for his courage, generosity and solidarity”.
The group said: “His calm clear resolve in the face of adversity and enthusiastic encouragement inspires us all.
“Phil is very active in the DC area, exercising his rights to free speech and demonstration, calling out injustice and bringing it to the forefront of social consciousness.
“He inspires people into causes, hosting training in effective, high-vis demonstration tactics.
“Ever inviting and inclusive, Phil is a mentor and friend dedicated to preserving human rights and fighting injustice.
“Phil leads the Backbone Solidarity Brigades, squads of activists tooled up in lights, banners, props and gear, so that communities can take action to protect what they love.”
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