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Woman racially abused during San Bernardino City Council meeting

A controversy is brewing in San Bernardino after two men made racist remarks about a Black woman during the public comment portion of a City Council meeting.

The comments were made as Amy Malone was voicing her opposition to the city hiring Charles Montoya as city manager last Wednesday. Moments after Malone began to speak, she was interrupted by two other speakers who were waiting via Zoom for their turn to talk.

Both speakers repeatedly used the N-word. “Go back to Africa,” one of them said.

As a Black woman, Malone said, she’s not shocked by racism. But, she added, she’s appalled with how city leaders responded in the moment.

“I was hoping that the people in charge were going to take control and really stop everything for a moment and shut it down and allow me to get myself together, and that’s not what happened,” Malone said.

At one point, Malone demanded an apology from city leaders, which she did get from Mayor Pro Tem Fred Shorett.

“I’m sorry, yes. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, that should not have happened, and I don’t know how it did,” Shorett said. “It’s a technical – I don’t have any control over that, and certainly that is inappropriate, I couldn’t agree with you more.”

Mayor Helen Tran said she was watching the meeting online because she was in Washington, D.C., at the time on city business, but told NBC4 on Monday that the events were “stunning.”

Tran said she’s addressing the Zoom public comment option so speakers can’t unmute themselves. She also has a message for Malone: “I, as the mayor, Amy, I am so sorry you had to go through that.”

In addition, the mayor held a special gathering Monday outside City Hall with the intention of bringing the community together and beginning the healing process.

San Bernardino police have the IP addresses of the men accused of making the racist remarks and say the case is under investigation.

“I definitely want charges brought against them,” Malone said. “I think that what they have done is scared others from standing up and speaking at City Council meetings, and we can’t have that.”

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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