Lynchburg Councilman: "thuggish people" to describe African Americans

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Lynchburg Councilman:  "thuggish people" to describe African Americans 


Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City Councilman H. Cary said something that has shocked a lot of people; but at the same time, Cary is receiving some support.

We told you at a work session last week Cary used the term "thuggish people" to describe African Americans that hang out at Riverside Park in Lynchburg.

Some are saying Cary's point was spot on, but others not so much.

Cary has since apologized for his comments. What he defends though is his point that some city parks are riddled with crime.

And now he's receiving an affirming thank you about that point from some of his constituents.

"That's when the thuggish people arrive after that. Whites in the morning blacks in the evening in large part. That's unfortunate" said Cary during last week's council work session.

Cary's controversial remark was about the people that hang out in Riverside park at night; where we found folks who couldn't disagree more with the councilman.

"When I just heard it I mean, it sounds ludicrous to me because I always come here walking and I never see anybody acting unruly" said Curtis Jones.

"I'm wondering what planet is this man from? I am here five times a week, at least. I've seen not the slightest problem ever" said Steve Bartholomew.

But there are supporters.

Cary says he has an inbox full of emails. He shared with ABC 13, just three of the 20 he's received from constituents supporting the controversial comments.

From one man, quote, "What you said, originally, was spot on. The truth will set you free." One woman encouraging Cary, saying quote, "Stand your ground, because you are right, it is awful." And this person, "I haven't gone to the parks with grandchildren even for the last ten years. Thank you."

Cary would not go on camera to discuss the subject, only saying he's addressed the issue and wants to move on. But clearly, emails show, some constituents supporting his assertion that a couple city parks could stand to be cleaned up.

As we've reported Cary has apologized for his remarks. He does assert though that crime in some city parks remains a problem, one he hopes to address while on council.

By James Gherardi - bio | email

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