Cross City police chief uses phrase residents say is racial slur

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - In a Cross City city council meeting on May 10, police chief Stant Bryant used a phrase that residents believed to be a racial slur and one councilman says Bryant should a better choice of words.

Vice Mayor Jovante’ Teague said the council meeting was scheduled to discuss an incident where some officers should have stepped up more than they did.

“Sorry for my language but every body gets a case of the black a** and I probably shouldn’t have said that word,” Bryant said while speaking on his team of officers.

Teague said he doesn’t believe Bryant is racist.

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“I don’t feel as though he meant it as a racial slur; however, I believe that some citizens from the community took it as such.”

Multiple Cross City residents who asked to remain anonymous told TV20 they feel the term is a racial slur and shouldn’t have been used.

Teague said they want to work on building trust in the community but this incident may be an extra hurdle in their mission.

“We don’t have a good relationship with the community and we’re trying to rebuild that, and I do wholeheartedly believe that a comment like that may have sent us back instead of stepping forward which is where we need to be headed.”

Teague said this is not the example that should be set for residents.

“For we as a whole as leaders people look to us for leadership and they look to us to again get it right every time and if these are the examples that we’re setting how can we expect our community to be better if we’re not better,” Teague said.

He has spoke with Bradley and encouraged him to apologize publicly.

“You need to give a public apology, this comment was made publicly, you need to apologize publicly, and we need to get it put behind us so we can move forward,” Teague added.

The city council is planning an emergency meeting Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. to discuss how to take action with the chief.

“Amongst the council and invite the citizens here so we can discuss what we’d like to do moving forward,” Teague said.

The police department is waiting until after the emergency meeting before commenting on the chief’s actions.

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