Protesters pack Petal Board of Aldermen meeting

Updated: Jun. 2, 2020 at 9:50 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Petal City Hall was packed with protesters again during Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, with several attendees calling for the resignation of Mayor Hal Marx over comments he made on social media about the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The agenda items of the meeting went by quickly, with public comment taking up most of the meeting.

Several members of the community stood up to voice their opinion, mostly directed at the mayor.

“I’m here to ask Mayor Hal Marx to step down from his position," one attendee said. “I’m here to tell you that your words and choices have truly hurt our community.”

Watch full meeting below. ***Warning: May contain some graphic language.***

Marx has been criticized for comments he made on social media regarding video of Floyd’s arrest that has circulated online and caused outrage, protests and an FBI investigation.

The video shows Floyd, a black man, yelling “I can’t breathe” repeatedly while a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with a knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn.

“A leader should always give thoughts to the word he speaks for those words carry a great weight,” an attendee said.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously requested Marx’s resignation last week during a special-called meeting. Protesters gathered outside City Hall all weekend to demand his resignation.

Marx refused to resign. He later apologized for the comments.

Some in attendance asked that the community forgive Marx for his comments.

“I do know that he regrets what he said and if he had to say it again, he wouldn’t,” one man said.

Another topic discussed in the meeting was the need for body cameras for the Petal Police Department.

Frederick Chestnut has been vocal about this issue.

“I ask for body cams be given and put on these cops,” Chestnut said. “Not only for the safety of the cops and that they have to say but also for the citizens.”

After the meetings, protesters gathered outside City Hall pleading for Marx to resign.

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