Detroit city official resigns after racial comment referring to Trayvon Martin
theGRIO REPORT - A Detroit city official has resigned after allegedly asking if he could 'shoot someone in a hoodie'...
A Detroit city official has resigned after allegedly asking if he could “shoot someone in a hoodie.”
Following an investigation by the human resources director and being suspended with pay, the city’s chief financial officer Jim Bonsall stepped down.
Treasurer Cheryl Johnson, who is black, wrote a letter to the city’s mayor, Dave Bing, and other high-ranking officials earlier this month, alleging Bonsall created a hostile work environment and had made offensive comments in the workplace.
Johnson specifically noted a conversation between colleagues, explaining to Bonsall their regular involvement with police during Angels’ Night, an effort to reduce violence leading up to Halloween. During that conversation, Bonsall allegedly said, “can I shoot someone in a hoodie?”
Bonsall was referring to Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot and killed. The hooded sweatshirt he was wearing on the night of his death became a symbol for Martin supporters.
The neighborhood watchman who shot Martin, George Zimmerman, was charged with second-degree murder, and a jury found him not guilty.
Bonsall apologized for offending his coworkers last week, saying:
I apologize and am sorry for having offended coworkers over comments I made during a recent meeting. 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.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.