Mayoral candidate faces backlash for comment about racial profil - WSMV News 4

Mayoral candidate faces backlash for comment about racial profiling

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Nashville mayoral candidate Ralph Bristol. (WSMV) Nashville mayoral candidate Ralph Bristol. (WSMV)
Mayoral candidate Ralph Bristol's comments about profiling. (WSMV) Mayoral candidate Ralph Bristol's comments about profiling. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville mayoral candidate is defending comments he said on Thursday night when he defended racial profiling by police.

Ralph Bristol, one of 13 candidates on the May 24 ballot for Nashville Mayor, is a former radio talk show host on WWTN-FM. On Thursday night, in front of a largely black audience at Meharry Medical College, he defended racial profiling by police, saying “profiling is absolutely necessary. Sometimes race might play some part in that.”

"It's unacceptable honestly," said medical student Brittany Landry.

The backlash has been huge both online and on campus.

"He's definitely not getting my vote," said medical student Christopher Johnson.

"It's disappointing to see a mayoral candidate saying, 'I believe in racial profiling,' when it's absolutely ridiculous," said medical student Ashley Serjilus.

Bristol defended his comments on Friday.

"Absolutely. Absolutely I do. I'm not going to amend myself or censor myself because I'm in front of a crowd that's not going to agree with me. That's what mayor need to do," said Bristol when asked about his comments.

Bristol said he knew his words might ruffle feathers. He also knew he'd likely face a backlash.

"When I get that kind of reaction it does provide an opening, an opportunity because people are interested and wanting to go into it further, and so I frankly appreciate what happened last night," said Bristol.

Bristol said his comment wasn’t a ploy to get attention in the crowded mayoral race. He said he didn't know the questions before the forum and therefore could not have planned his responses.

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