A local civil rights group is calling for the resignation of San Diego City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole (Dist. 4) after she suggested police racial profiling is linked to black-on-black crime.
In an exclusive interview with NBC 7, Cole says her statement was “misunderstood” and apologized.
“Did I make a mistake? Absolutely, I did,” she said. “Do I apologize for it? Absolutely, I do. But I am not going anywhere.”
Cole, made the controversial comments during Tuesday's City Council meeting. They were in reference to a community meeting held on July 19th in Encanto in reponse to the violence involving police officers and the black community.
During the meeting, which was hosted by Cole, community members became heated, saying their needs were not being understood.
In Tuesday's council meeting, Cole said, in part: “Because blacks are shooting blacks, [police] are not going to stop a white male or a Hispanic male or Asian. They’re going to stop an African American because those are the ones who are shooting.”
You can watch the full video here.
Now, members of the local National Action Network are calling for Cole to resign, saying she doesn’t serve the community she represents.
“It’s a slap in the face to her district. These are her constituents. You are supposed to be hearing the voices of your people,” said Rev. Shane Harris, President of the National Action Network San Diego Chapter.
Protests are planned for Friday at Cole's office in Skyline as well as at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“You can’t make these kinds of statements and affirm the police brutality and racial profiling around this country and stay in office,” Harris said.
But Cole told NBC 7, she will not resign from her position.
“I made one mistake, and you know. I just want them to accept my apology. I do apologize and if they do want to protest, that is their right,” Cole said.
In a statement sent to NBC 7, Cole wrote, in part: “I want to be clear in telling you, my community, that I condemn racial profiling in all forms and all instances. I do not condone racial discrimination by the police or any institution. Tackling inequality has always been a priority of mine, and it’s why I serve on the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee. I regret that I failed to communicate my position on racial injustice earlier this week.”
The statement continued to state that Cole hopes the community would remember her attributions and accept her apology.
This is the full statement.