By Veronica Mackey
Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Black Lives Matter were subjects of criticism by a few residents at Tuesday’s council meeting. Long time resident Ray Davis who attended the City’s Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans, said Waters “desecrated” the memory of his father, a military man.
When pressed for details, Davis said Black Lives Matter members disrupted the ceremony, and Waters invited one of the leaders to sit up front with her. “They (Black Lives Matter) wouldn’t have free speech if it weren’t for people who fought to give it to them,” he said.”I’m calling on the VFW and the American Legion to demand a public apology from Maxine Waters,” he said.
Black Lives Matter protestors are demanding answers about the deaths of a young couple—Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin—shot and killed by Inglewood police more than a year ago. They come to the council meeting every week to voice their concern.
Erick Holly, president of the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s amazing, we have no problem fighting for the rights of others, and you can come in and interrupt a Memorial Day service. It is unacceptable, and respect needs to be on all aspects.”
Another man spoke out against those who don’t respect other people’s religions during public assemblies. When he attended Maxine Waters’ town hall meeting, the man said, “There was a man from the ‘religious wrong’ haranguing people. There should be a policy for organizational meetings.”
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Willie Agee complained that Black Lives Matter supporters harassed him after last week’s meeting. “The same people who are protesting here today called me everything in the book, and they cursed me, they disrespect veterans. These are the people protesting, they need to be investigated.”
Councilman George Dotson apologized for not attending the Memorial Day ceremony. “I want all the veterans to know that I stand with them, and I would not be enjoying the life I am right now if it were not for them.
“Nothing that happens can change the meaning of it (ceremony),” Councilman Eloy Morales said.
Councilman Alex Padilla mentioned that Justin Johnson, son of JC and Angela Johnson (owners of the Serving Spoon restaurant) graduated last week as was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Justin was not present but received a round of applause.
“Someone interrupted the (Memorial Day) ceremony, and I thought that was truly unfortunate,” Mayor Butts said.”There are other people’s rights that should be appreciated, and you should never—“
A Black Lives Matter supporter shouted from the audience, interrupting the mayor, and was almost ejected from the meeting.
“Just as what is happening now, we have people that think their rights and their feelings are the only ones that matter,” the mayor continued. Then he gave the public an update about the Michael-Sandlin case:
“The due process of the investigation was completed on Friday. The officers are no longer employed by the police department. You can contact the district attorney’s office for more information.”
Inglewood Realtor Larry Springs made a case for pay increases for the council and Mayor James Butts. “The city was in bankruptcy several years ago. At this point, we have a surplus. I feel the mayor and council should be given raises,” he said.
Treasurer Wanda Brown reported that homes in Inglewood recently sold between $632,000 and $699,000.
Three public hearings were set to adopt a resolution for the Citizen Participation Plan for Fiscal Year 2017-18. The resolution is related to Section 8, Housing and the Community Development Block Grant.
On June 17, a hearing will be held to receive public comments on priorities for community development and housing needs. The second public hearing, on July 11, will be held to discuss the Draft FY2017-18 Consolidated Plan and Annual Budget. On December 12, another hearing will be held to receive public comments on the Draft FY2017-18 Consolidation Annual Performance Evaluation Program. All hearings will be held at 2pm.
An ordinance was adopted to regulate the use and discharge of fireworks, and impose administrative fines for the unlawful use or possession of illegal fireworks, and to amend the monetary amount the City may impose as a criminal penalty and administrative fine for a violation of the Inglewood Municipal Code.
Another ordinance was passed to amend the Inglewood Municipal Code for the regulation and control of backflow and cross-connections to the City’s water system.