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Flint, MI– A Flint city councilman has spoken out against “disrespectful,” and “hateful,” comments made toward him during a council committee meeting this week.
Five members of the council voted against Guerra allowing this, but he continued to try, saying the council could vote to remove him from the meeting if they didn’t want Fields to speak.
That’s when Councilwoman Monica Galloway compared his actions to “suicide by police.”
“So you want make it seem like we’re going to remove you, and you want to be like police officers, they say, that want to be shot, and they put themselves in that situation,” Galloway said. “If that’s what you need for us to have you in order … shame on you.”
Guerra held a press conference on Oct. 8, to respond to the comments she had made. He said they had not spoken about it outside of the meeting.
“The words that Flint Councilwoman Monica Galloway stated in this last Finance committee meeting were disrespectful and inappropriate,” he said. “I expect more of the councilwoman who was just elected Michigan Municipal League president and now represents many local governments across the state.”
Guerra said that as a law enforcement officer, who has been around gun fire and in physical altercations, her words were offensive. Guerra was working full time at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office until last month. Now he serves warrants in Metro Detroit for a private contractor, he said.
“Her comments about law enforcement putting themselves in that situation are insulting to all law enforcement officers and their families,” he said. “Many of my friends and others in the field continue to serve our communities, with the goal of keeping it safe. It’s the criminals that put us in dangerous situations, not the brave men and women that put on a uniform.”
Later in the meeting, Galloway explained her statement, and apologized if it had come out differently than she intended.
“It reminded me of people that have decided that they may be in the wrong and they would use the police, honorable people to do something to them, instead of taking accountability or responsibility for what they were doing,” Galloway said.
“So, if my words were not correct, I apologize for that. But again, that’s what it reminded me of,” she said. “Honorable police trying to do their job, and then somebody decides that they are going to use someone else to blame for what happens to them. … Councilman Guerra, I respect you, but I just think you decided that you wanted us to remove you.”
Guerra said he heard her try to justify her statement, but that it didn’t make anything better in his eyes.
“I did hear her try to justify it when she was comparing those actions to somebody who wanted to commit suicide. I heard that part clear, and that angered me,” he said. “Because you know, I’ve lost loved ones growing up, who have lost their life that way. … A political stance on an issue shouldn’t be compared to somebody taking their life.”
Guerra said he isn’t “shocked anymore,” by things that are said during the council meetings.
“But it’s just heartbreaking to see, especially when I’m almost done,” he said. “You know, I wish that we could do better, and I say we as a body.”
Galloway was not available for additional comment by press time.