‘I think he should have resigned months ago’: Tarrant mayor responds to councilman’s use of racial slur

Local News

TARRANT, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Tarrant has made national headlines after one of their councilmen used a racial slur during Monday night’s meeting, and a growing number of people are asking that he resign from his position – including the mayor of Tarrant.

Mayor of Tarrant Wayman Newton told CBS 42 in an interview that he believes councilman Tommy Bryant should have resigned several months ago.

“I think he should have resigned several months ago when he called me a boy, but as a mayor, I don’t have authority to make him step down,” said Newton.

On Tuesday Councilman Bryant told CBS 42 News that when he used the slur he was only repeating what Mayor Newton called city council member Veronica Freeman.

“I did what needed to be done it needed to be brought to light what type of mayor Newton is in the ‘City of Newton’,” said Bryant.

Mayor Newton responded to that comment in his interview, pointing out that he and Councilman Freeman have been at odds for some time.

“I did not call her that; make no mistake that the relationship between myself and Counselor Freemen has been tense for the past eight months,” said Mayor Newton.

Newton says disagreements with Council Freemen began when he didn’t support her for mayor pro tem.

“She started working with Councilor Bryant because Byrant wants to become mayor, and I believe during his interviews the day before yesterday he said he was planning on running for mayor against me,” said Newton.

Black Lives Matter of Birmingham and the NAACP have called on Bryant to resign, and dozens of activists came together outside of Tarrant city hall on Thursday in an effort to begin a new chapter.

“He has done nothing but harm this community and he needs to resign,” said Jackie Beltaine, Tarrant resident and protestor.

“He no longer deserves the right to sit on a city council and represent a community he has lost that right,” said Rev. Kenneth Dukes, Alabama NAACP Chapter.

Those present at the protest say they will be attending the upcoming city council meeting that is set for August 2, when they will again voice their opinions on his resignation.

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