Hal Marx later defended his statements, claiming that they had been "misrepresented." The Board of Alderman has since called for him to resign.
In shocking news, Hal Marx, the Mayor of Petal, Mississippi, defended the four white police officers of the Minneapolis Police Department who murdered unarmed black man George Floyd. He first commented on the officers' arrest on Tuesday, asking why anyone in America would want to become a cop in the United States. The Mayor later added that there was nothing "unreasonable" about the officers' actions and stated, "If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing." While his offensive tweets and Facebook posts have since been taken down, the statements have been widely criticized across social media, The Hill reports.
Hal Marx is a white supremacist.— Staying Home With Stringer (@MoString) May 27, 2020
In later tweets, Marx continued, "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." As one would expect, the Mayor's comments have sparked major backlash since his initial tweet was first posted. It was also noted that he has had a streak of making racist statements in the past and several residents of Petal, Mississippi remain unsurprised. Nonetheless, the criticism prompted the City of Petal, a town that about 10,000 people call home, to release a formal statement distancing themselves from Marx and his bigoted comments.
You know as a former resident of Petal ... this is truly disturbing to see. To know that a leader of community feels right even posting this.. pic.twitter.com/3weA4umEvE— Javon Patterson (@JPatterson__8) May 27, 2020
"The comments made on Mayor Hal Marx’s personal Facebook page are not representative of all of our city leaders," they wrote in a Facebook post. "We understand the frustrations his statements have caused." They did argue, however, that he reserved the right to post his point of view on his personal page. The City of Petal nevertheless reassured, "We strive to love everyone and care for people from all walks of life and backgrounds here in the Friendly City. We are saddened by the events which led to this post. We have fine police officers who are properly trained and do a great job of keeping us all safe."
If you live in the City of Petal, near the Hattiesburg area, your primary goal should be to get Hal Marx out of office IMMEDIATELY.— Tyler J. Carter (@SIPmyTHOUGHTS) May 27, 2020
the fact that hal marx is STILL the mayor of petal after years of blatant racism says a lot about the social climate of southern mississippi— amirah 🧝🏽♀️ (@AmirahLockhart) May 27, 2020
The Board of Alderman has since called on his resignations, but it is unclear if the Mayor will face any real consequences for his derogatory remarks. It must be highlighted that Marx was voted into power as the city's Mayor for multiple terms despite racist posts dating back several years from today. In an attempt to backtrack, Marx told the media that his comments were merely misinterpreted, claiming that he simply wanted to stress the need for patience as folks are "so quick to judge the police" before they had all the facts. He even posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday that "the tolerant progressives can't tolerate a simple statement of fact and a request not to rush to judgment." "I can't say whether a crime was committed or whether they did anything right or wrong," he said. "All I'm saying is don't rush to judgment based on what you see in that video."
BREAKING: The Board of Alderman just called on Mayor Hal Marx to resign for his comments on George Floyd, and promised to “take every action available to us to ensure that Hal Marx’s” position in the City of Petal is limited." https://t.co/XMuO4YImXh— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) May 29, 2020
In the video, it is evident that Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin had his knee placed on Floyd's neck, while the victim stated repeatedly, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe." To allege any other cause of death only implies his misunderstanding of systemic racism and police brutality. While Marx has gained his 15 minutes of fame, many across the United States, like friends and family of Floyd, are mourning his death. Simultaneously, the Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the incident. Experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators have been assigned to the ongoing case.
This is the 15 minutes Mayor Hal Marx has dreamed of for years. He's been spewing divisive hateful racist sh*t on Twitter for years with no political consequence. Petal voters have been electing him since 2009!! The voters of Petal are as much to blame as him. https://t.co/YV0UzFWyzb— Jacob Ray (@rjacobray) May 28, 2020