This article appeared in today's Times. It is about how Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and President Chow are seeking permanent court protection against a man, Omari Tahir-Garrett, who visits the Board meetings semi-regularly. I have heard him on many occasions and always dread it when I see his name on the speakers list. In the past he would ramble a lot but in the last year, he has gotten racially abusive.
I am for the First Amendment and I believe that people in public service have to know that people will come to public meetings and disagree with their decisions. Maybe even loudly and with anger. But public discourse has to be civil and that means no overt swearing (I personally don't have a problem with damn) and no racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. remarks to those officials.
(Mr. Tahir-Garrett is African-American but he did accuse former CAO, June Rimmer, of being a racist and tried the same thing on Dr. G-J.)
He has insulted President Chow and did make an illusion to an infamous incident of many people who were killed at a Chinese restaurant. I made the connection easily when he made the remark at the time and I can see how it would make her uneasy. The current issue, over insulting both Dr. G-J and Cheryl Chow, really made me angry and I told him to stop. (I know I said it loudly because a couple of people turned and looked at me but Mr. Tahir-Garrett didn't acknowledge it.) The police stepped in soon afterwards when he refused to leave the podium.
I hope they get him permanently banned because anyone who has heard him (and knows of his physical attack on former Mayor Paul Schell) can realize that he makes people fear for what he might do or say.