By Associated Press • 

Oregon councilor resigns over post criticized as racist

SALEM — An Oregon city councilor has resigned after sharing a social media post that shows cars hitting African-Americans at demonstrations.

Salem Councilor Daniel Benjamin, who is white, shared a video on his Facebook page that showed cars plowing into the peaceful demonstrators, The Statesman Journal reported.

The video was initially posted by someone else on Facebook in January, with the caption, “As this video shows people are starting to get tired of the BlackLivesMatter bullies blocking the roadways.”

The Associated Press was unable to verify the authenticity of the video or determine its original sources.

There is nothing in the video that indicates when and where the incidents occurred, whether anyone was hurt, and whether there had been any consequences.

Benjamin resigned Wednesday after issuing an apology a day earlier that said he shared the video because he was appalled at the brutality depicted and that he should have written it was unacceptable.

Advocacy groups including the NAACP had demanded his resignation. In a letter they called the post outrageous and said, “No one could conceive of images of black people being intentionally mowed down in the street by cars as anything other than racist.”

“This is not a joke, especially given the history and current reality of violence experienced by black Americans and people of color,” the letter said.

Dozens of people had been expected to attend Monday's council meeting to demand Benjamin's resignation. City officials had planned an executive session to consider disciplinary action against him.

Benjamin, who was elected to a four-year term in 2014, told the newspaper, “I'm done,” and said he appreciated the chance to represent the city's sixth ward.

Mayor Anna Peterson said Benjamin made the right decision, and Benny Williams, president of the NAACP's Salem-Keizer branch, called the resignation appropriate.


Information from: Statesman Journal,

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