Fresno City Council Fields More Racist Comments During Budget Hearings

Jun 15, 2020

More racist remarks were made during a public comment session at the Fresno City Council budget hearing on Monday. The council heard similar, vulgar comments last week, and members said they want consequences.

Two Zoom-meeting attendees used the n-word multiple times until they were cut off. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld said this is a reason to resume in-person meetings.

“Let’s open up this building and get back in the chamber because these cowards won’t come forward to speak; they do it anonymously on Zoom,” said Bredefeld.

Councilmember Esmeralda Soria asked if there was a way to track down those making comments. 

“I feel like those are threats, and we should take that seriously, and go beyond just the fact that we’re gonna call out and condemn these types of statements,” said Soria.

The city’s information department said it can track users’ IP addresses. 

Several councilmembers suggested referring the issue to the police for investigation. City Manager Wilma Quan said the city plans to reopen the chamber to the public on June 25, but Councilmember Nelson Esparza reminded them that livestreaming and taking comments virtually will likely stay in place until the chamber opens at full capacity.