City Officials calling for action after several racist remarks during Zoom meetings

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — City officials want assistance from the Fresno Police Department after several racist remarks and threats were made during the city’s Zoom meetings.

On Monday during a Budget public forum, several users said the n-word and one man continued to say ‘kill them all’.

Since the meeting has moved virtually, there have been several disruptions where people have made racist comments.

“It is truly disgusting to have to listen and hear those comments for myself and the general public as well,” said Councilmember Nelson Esparza.

This is the third incident in one week. All of the councilmembers condemned the comments.

“Cut him off,” said Councilmember Mike Karbassi.

“We have to do the best of our ability,” said Esparza. “Try to track down some of these folks. Again, there is a big difference between being a jokester and making hateful racist comments. Some, actually many, were of pretty threatening nature.”

The city’s IT department will work on identifying the users through email and IP addresses. Councilmember Esmerelda Soria said that it is not enough and wants the Police Department to get involved.

“I feel like those are threats and we should take them seriously and go beyond we are just going to condemn these kinds of statements,” said Soria.

A police spokesperson confirmed that the department is aware of the incidents. If the threat is credible and specific it could be a felony charge. However, if these criteria are not met, no law is violated and would be considered first amendment rights.

The city attorney is looking into possible consequences. No investigations have been opened.

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