Oklahoma councilman under fire for controversial remarks deemed racially offensive
A city councilman in Norman City, Okla., is in hot water following offensive remarks he made during a recent city council meeting. According to KFOR, the latest controversy stems from Ward 3 Councilman Kelly Lynn's seemingly racist remarks in response to a presentation by the Center for Policing Equity.
The organization highlighted the findings in a recent Norman Police Department study that suggest Black residents are subjected to use of force far more than white residents. “We found that in the case of Norman PD, black people were still subjected to force 3.4 times as often as white people,” said representatives for the Center for Policing Equity.
Kevin Foster, police chief for the law enforcement agency, further explained the reason for the study and its intended purpose. “Our Police Department is not afraid to put data out there to work with our community partners,” Foster said.
However, Lynn strongly disagreed with the study describing it as "garbage."
“Looking at FBI statistics, African Americans are way more responsible for murder, robbery, all kinds of violent crimes, way disproportionate to their percentage of population. The numbers are outstanding,” said Lynn. “This seems like a big waste of time to me.”
Ward 1 councilmember Brandi Studley quickly fired back with a critical response to Lynn's remarks. “I am a little bit shocked by council members Lynn’s comments," she said. "I find them to be extremely disturbing and racist and I don’t appreciate that, and I apologize to our black community members that just had to listen to that."
Mayor Breea Clark also condemned Lynn's remarks in a tweeted statement. “The CM’s comments were wildly inappropriate & offensive, but I don’t have the power to censure Councilmembers & although vile, what was said is protected speech under the 1st amendment. With that said, I have zero issue publicly denouncing this behavior.”
Thx for reaching out! The CM\u2019s comments were wildly inappropriate & offensive, but I don\u2019t have the power to censure Councilmembers & although vile, what was said is protected speech under the 1st amendment. With that said, I have zero issue publicly denouncing this behavior.— Mayor Breea Clark (@Mayor Breea Clark) 1639601875
Although Lynn reportedly refused to speak on-camera, when asked about his remarks he appeared to defend what he'd previously said with a reference to FBI statistics. “Per capita, African-Americans commit documented crime in many areas way more than any other ethnicity," Lynn said. "Such as 13% of the population responsible for well over 50% of murder. The study that was put forth to us didn’t include the higher crime rate by race when looking at the rate of use of force.”
However, Studley pushed back and criticized his attempt to justify his stance. “To try to quote statistics from the FBI is just ridiculous," Studley said. "There are so many factors of why black people get arrested. We know that they’re falsely accused a lot of the times, especially in our country’s past history and in our current history."
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