Controversy sparks at commission meeting over lynch mob comments

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ANDALUSIA, Ala. (WDHN) — Protestors didn’t have a chance to speak Tuesday at the Covington County Commission meeting on county commissioner Tony Holmes.

Holmes made controversial statements on Facebook about Minnesota and Ferguson — statements that said rioting and looting wouldn’t happen if there were lynch mobs.

“A public comment is where you come in when an official makes a comment like that, every other state they come in and address the situation,” protester Aaron Bogen said. “If you did something wrong, you address it right then. That was wrong what he put on his Facebook page.”

The protesters weren’t allowed to speak because they weren’t on the agenda.

According to commissioners, protesters have to request to be on the agenda 72 hours before the agenda is printed in order to speak at the meeting.

According to some protesters, they spoke to the chairman a week prior to Tuesday’s meeting. Others say commissioners should have made an exception.

Meanwhile, one commissioner said the commission as whole deemed it unnecessary to change the rules.

“On occasion we amend the rules to address the situation before us,” Covington County Commission Chairman Gregory White said. “Today, there was a concern about how that may turn out, and the commission as a whole didn’t seem inclined to change our agenda today.”

Despite this, protesters said the commissioners should have addressed the situation.

“We didn’t really have to get on the agenda to address this,” Bogen said. “This is supposed to be addressed by him. Mrs. Harriet didn’t have to call him. He should have called her. Told her to come up. Told her to come up and y’all here what we had to say about what he said on his Facebook page.”

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