The mayor of Temecula, a Southern California city, has resigned after sending a controversial email that stated that he didn’t “believe there’s ever been a good person of color killed by a police officer” in the region.
In a Facebook post to defend his position, James Stewart said he is dyslexic and was responding to “a person concerned about our police officers and their sensitivity training”.
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“What I said is and I don’t believe there was 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,” he wrote.
“Please forgive me for this egregious error,” he added. Hours later, Stewart announced he was resigning.
In a statement, he said: “You have every right to be hurt and offended. My typos and off-the-cuff response to an email on a serious topic added pain at a time where our community, and our country, is suffering. I may not be the best writer and I sometimes misspeak, but I am not racist.”
Stewart, who was elected for a four-year term in 2016, will also step down as a member of the city council.
Temecula, a city of about 115, 000 people Southeast of Los Angeles, were quick to remind him of the 1998 death of Tyisha Miller, a 19-year-old black woman who was killed by the police in her car.
Mayor Tem Maryann Edwards will take on mayoral duties for the remainder of 2020, Latimes reported.