Two years ago, City Manager Maurice Jones announced the hiring of Al Thomas, Charlottesville’s first African-American police chief, who abruptly resigned 20 months later on December 18 following a scathing independent review of the handling of the violent events of August 11-12.

Today, Jones introduced his latest police chief pick: former George Washington University chief and Pittsburgh police commander RaShall Brackney. And with a petit protest by civil rights attorney Jeff Fogel in City Council chambers, Brackney got a small taste of the activities that have dominated much of local government over the past two years.

Brackney was chosen, says Jones, out of 169 applicants—more than twice the number the last time the job was open. And while City Council will confirm her appointment at its May 21 meeting, all the councilors were on hand to welcome the new chief.