Dozens of protestors demand the resignation of a Gwinnett County commissioner over his post on social media calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis “a racist pig”.
District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter began Tuesday’s commission’s meeting apologizing for his comments.
“I understand emotions are high and many are upset about those posts. I apologize for the choice of words I made about Congressman John Lewis,” he said.
Hunter went on to call Lewis’ work as a civil rights leader commendable and something to be emulated but says it doesn’t mean he will always agree with the congressman politically.
Hunter also says he will not allow “baseless accusations of racism” against him or anyone else to keep people from speaking up.
His comments apparently fell on deaf ears as protesters chanted “resign, resign” during the statement.
Commission Chair Charlotte Nash worked to calm the crowd with news she had written a letter to Lewis apologizing for Hunter’s comments on behalf of the commission.
“I am writing you today to offer my sincere apologies and regrets for the disrespectful comments about you posted on social media by a Gwinnett district commissioner,” read Nash from the letter. “Using hurtful words and name-calling should not have a place in governing.”
The crowd erupted into applause, but continued to jeer and call for Hunter’s resignation.
“I feel like that he should resign. And if he doesn’t resign, then you are going to have to pay for that recall election that he’s going to have to go through,” says Jim Shealey, who ran against Nash in November.
He was among dozens who spoke out during the public comments segment of the meeting.
Phyllis Richardson, the embattled former clerk for the city of Snellville, says if the commission won’t press for Hunter’s resignation, the group will call on a boycott of businesses in Gwinnett who will.
“We will go from one company to another company starting with the city of Lawrenceville.”