Detroit city treasurer says CFO jokingly asked if he could ‘shoot someone in a hoodie’
theGRIO REPORT - A Detroit city official is accusing her superior of making racially insensitive remarks at work and cited one instance where he jokingly asked if he could 'shoot someone in a hoodie'...
A Detroit city official wrote a letter to the city’s mayor and a handful of other top appointees accusing her superior of making racially insensitive remarks at work and cited one instance where he jokingly asked if he could “shoot someone in a hoodie.”
The allegations were made by City Treasurer Cheryl Johnson, who is black, about the actions of Chief Financial Officer Jim Bonsall, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The paper obtained a copy of Johnson’s letter and reports that it accuses Bonsall, who is white, of frequently criticizing employees during meetings through his condescending language and demeaning behavior — but “in a manner that is more pronounced with minority women.”
According to the report, Johnson made the hoodie comment in the midst of a discussion on the administration’s participation in neighborhood patrols during “Angels’ Night” – a neighborhood watch volunteer event formed each year around Halloween.
The remark is an apparent reference to the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in 2012, who was wearing a hoodie at the time of his death.
Johnson — who was demoted from finance director to city treasurer over a week ago — wrote the letter shortly after and according to the paper, could not be reached for comments.
An investigation into the allegations are underway. Meanwhile, Johnson has released a statement in response to the letter.
“I apologize and am sorry for having offended coworkers over comments I made during a recent meeting,” he said, according to the Huffington Post. “Regardless of the outcome of the internal investigation or whether I keep my job as a result of it, it was never my intention to offend anyone.”
Read the full story at the Detroit Free Press.
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