California mayor resigns after racist email on police brutality goes viral

Former Temecula, California Mayor James Stewart came under fire for saying cops have never killed a "good person of color" in a constituent email

Former Temecula, California Mayor James Stewart

A California mayor has resigned his office after coming under fire for sending out a racially insensitive email regarding police violence.

James Stewart, who was elected mayor of Temecula, California in November 2016, resigned the seat Thursday after he was called out for a reply email to a Temecula resident, who asked what was being done about police violence, according to Too Fab.

“I don’t believe there’s ever been a good person of color killed by a police officer,” Stewart said in the message that went viral.

READ MORE: California police kill unarmed man who was kneeling with hands up

People flooded the internet with criticisms and accusations of racism on the southern California city’s official Facebook page. Stewart, who led the conservative-leaning city of about 115,000, posted an initial apology the day before issuing his resignation, stating that he uses “voice text” due to his dyslexia, and didn’t proof-reading before sending.

“I absolutely did not say that,” he wrote in the post. “What I said is and I don’t believe there has ever been a person of color murdered by police, on context to Temecula or Riverside county. I absolutely did not say ‘good’ I have no idea how that popped up. Please forgive me for this egregious error.”

However, the backlash continued, prompting him to make a follow-up statement to insist those aren’t his beliefs.

READ MORE: White teens start ‘George Floyd challenge’ mocking his death

“I understand that even my sincerest apologies cannot remedy this situation. Because actions speak louder than words, I will step down as your Mayor and City Council Member effective immediately,” he wrote.

The news comes as nationwide protests against racism and police brutality continue in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black Minneapolis man whose last words were “I can’t breath” as four officers held him in custody in public.

One officer, who was seen pinning Floyd down by pressing his knee into his kneck for almost 9 minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers assisting in the arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting in the alleged murder.

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