Flint, MI—Councilman Eric Mays says he has filed a police report recently in response to threatening phone calls he said he’s been receiving. 

He said one caller called him a racist and hung up while another told him to get his “black ass out of town.” Others have called and made lewd comments, he said. 

“It’s unsettling. You have to take it seriously and prepare,” Mays said. “With my son and my grandkids at the house sometimes, I have to be the protector.”

The calls have mostly come from private numbers, and Mays said he will be turning his device over to law enforcement to investigate. 

Mays said he’s been getting rude phone calls for the past three or four months, but that “now the public seems to be talking more.”

He attributes this to what he calls his “mistreatment” by the rest of the City Council. 

Councilwoman Kate Fields and Councilwoman Eva Worthing have accused Mays of being racist and misogynistic. 

He’s been removed from meetings several times, sometimes by way of a muted microphone and sometimes by the police. He’s also received a 30-day suspension. 

“All of these wrongful, wretched, nasty accusations and attitudes created publicly, helps me get them nasty calls,” he said.

But it’s more than the calls. He says he’s been threatened by people in public, as well. 

“I had a guy at the corner store scare the hell out of me,” Mays said. 

He also cited an incident where he and Mayor Neeley’s deputy chief of staff, DuVarl Murdock, were in a physical altercation in a bar in February of this year. 

Mays said he had said something Murdock didn’t like and he attacked him. Mayor Sheldon Neeley asserted in an official statement that Mays threatened Murdock verbally and the attack was out of self-defense.

“This behavior is shameful and he is an embarrassment,” Neeley said of Mays in the statement.

Mays said that “when people use City of Flint letterhead,” to say negative things about him, it prompts the public to act against him. 

“I would ask that people stop doing that. Don’t do that with me or nobody else,” Mays said. “Black lives matter, Black politician’s lives matter.”

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...