Kentucky public forum on Zoom hijacked by people making racial slurs


A virtual city council meeting in Kentucky was interrupted Wednesday night by people making racial and homophobic slurs.

The Zoom meeting by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County council members was held as an open forum for the public to discuss police reform before it was hijacked by the people who made the slurs, news outlets reported.

“As offensive as these comments are, I think there are a lot of our community members who hear them more often than we do,” council member Mark Swanson, who is white, said during the meeting. “I think it’s a painful lesson for those of us who look like me on the council.”


One participant in the meeting, AJ Vaughn, said it was “disheartening” that “people can say such things and not have their faces shown.”

Lexington police said they were investigating the calls.

The forum was held Wednesday after a six-hour council meeting on police accountability Tuesday didn’t leave time for public comment, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Zoom phase one was mostly pretty pleasant. Not anymore.

May 29, 2020

Lexington sits near Frankfort, Kentucky’s capital. It is about 80 miles from Louisville, which is grappling with issues brought to the fore by the recent death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot to death in her home during a police drug raid that turned up nothing.

Lexington Vice Mayor Steve Kay said the council wasn’t able to screen the calls Wednesday to know whether people requesting to comment were residents who wanted to weigh in or others looking to disrupt it.

Public comments were halted after several slurs were made, and resumed later so residents who had signed up to make a statement could comment, news outlets reported.