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Petal mayor triggers protests with insensitive comments, refuses to resign

The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, has brought along with it a clash of opinions.

Some Mississippi elected officials—such as Governor Tate Reeves—have made it clear that they believe the death of George Floyd was egregious and people have right to protest, while others—such as Petal mayor Hal Marx—have argued that Floyd’s death was not at the fault of police officers.

Last week, the mayor of the 10,000-person town decided to go to Twitter to express his thoughts on the death of Floyd.

“If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable,” he wrote. “If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing. Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack. Video doesn’t show his resistance that got him in that position. Police being crucified.”

After Marx made the remarks, it didn’t take long for the Petal Board of Aldermen to call a special meeting in regard to the third-term mayor’s social media posts.

The board members demanded an immediate resignation from Marx, yet Marx refused.

In an interview with the Hattiesburg American, Marx said his comments might not have been well thought out, however, they were not in any way racist or insensitive. He also stressed his disappointment with the Board of Aldermen for voting for a resignation.

Once Marx’s excuses were published, the backlash escalated. All weekend long, hundreds of protesters stood their ground outside of Petal City Hall before taking their disapproval to Marx’s house, where they held a silent protest from the street.

Hopefully, Marx will rethink his appalling comments as police brutality has proven to be too common of an occurrence in America.

Marx has since deleted his Twitter account, and the autopsy of Floyd has shown that his death “was homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.”

This is a developing story.

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