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According to reports, a Coralville city councilman publicly criticized Black Lives Matter on Tuesday night.

Tom Gill has been a fixture on the city council. Gill served from 1987-1997 when he resigned in February of 1997. He joined again in 2002 and has served ever since.

During the discussion, Gill denounced Black Lives Matter.

“BLM, to me, is a bunch of criminals, and I have zero tolerance for criminals,” Gill reportedly said. “Eighty percent of the town doesn’t give a damn about what you are talking about — they are fed up.”

City staff provided the council with a long list of answers to questions about policing in the community. Council members requested the data last month after the George Floyd incident, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Kelly Hayworth, the city administrator, said his staff was still compiling data on traffic stops to provide the council with clearer information on the number of stops involving minority drivers.

“These are big-city demands, not Coralville demands,” Gill said. “My feeling is…we have an excellent police department. We’ve got council people who want to create issues.”

Mitch Gross, one of the other council members, said Gill’s comments were “racist.”

“To label a movement that is fighting for justice and against 400 years of systemic bigotry, to deem that criminal is so unfortunate,” Gross reportedly said.

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall