A Pennsylvania County commissioner faces calls for resignation for calling Black Lives Matter a “radical left-wing hate group” – but says he has no plans to abstain from controversial comments.
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale said members of the organization included “urban domestic terrorism” during the protests that he characterized as a riot that culminated in a weekend robbery in Philadelphia.
“This organization, in particular, screams racism, not to expose racism and injustice, but to justify the illegal destruction of our cities and surrounding communities.” Said in the statement on Monday. “In fact, their purpose is to unleash chaos and chaos by falsely claiming they are victims.”
Gale, a Republican, accused the “radical left” of harassing police officers and law enforcement officers for years.
“As a result of this slander and character assassination, a complicity in the media that constantly pseudo-fake brutality and white racism is the fear of law enforcement in doing their job of protecting innocent people and their property,” Gale said.
The backlash for Gale’s comments has been quickened as members of the Norristown Borough Council are now demanding his resignation as one of Montgomery County’s three elected commissioners. NBC Philadelphia reports.
Philadelphia 76ers Small Forward Tobias Harris on Tuesday called for Gale to step down.
“I honestly can’t believe what I’m reading,” Harris Tweeted. “Is Black Lives a Hate Group ?! It’s disgusting to read this report and your entire newsletter.
But Gale insisted he would not resign Wednesday, saying he would not be “bullyed for speaking the truth” and exercising his First Amendment rights, he told NBC Philadelphia.
Gale was an understatement Online petition with over 76,000 signatures He called for his resignation, which he said had “left-wing activists” from all over the country.
“This is not a reflection of the electors who have picked me up and re-elected,” he told the Gale station. “President Obama may have collected millions of signatures demanding his resignation from office, which can now be done against President Trump.”
In 2016, NBC Philadelphia reported that Gale was among the first politicians to support Trump as president.
Asked if Harris’ decision would have an impact on his decision, Gale told the station: “I haven’t seen the Sixers since Alan Iverson left.”
Police arrested at least 429 people over the weekend’s vandalism, city officials said NBC told Philadelphia on Monday.
Most of those arrested were city dwellers aged 18 to 24, not related to police brutal protests in Philadelphia, following Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis.
“I think it’s fair to describe most of these as robbery cases,” Grossner said. “They are often situations that get caught inside a store … Macy’s or something else.”