Alderman documented using racial slurs on camera: I’m running for mayor
PORTLAND, Tenn. (WSMV) - An embattled Portland city alderman, exposed by WSMV Investigates for repeatedly using racial slurs, intends to run for mayor.
Alderman Thomas Dillard made the proclamation to WSMV Investigates when he came to the city council meeting to hold him accountable for what we’d uncovered: that a series of police body camera footage shows him making racist remarks to a biracial family living next door to him.
“Do you think you should stay on the council?” asked WSMV4 Investigates.
“Yes I do,” Dillard replied.
“Despite you making racist comments?” we asked.
“And I’m running for mayor,” Dillard said.
New video obtained by WSMV4 Investigates shows him yelling at officers who arrived on a complaint that someone on his property was shooting off fireworks over the home of the family next door.
In the video, you can see Dillard aggressively approach one of the officers, enough for the officer to say, “Sir, you need to back up.”
“I would recommend you getting off of my property,” Dillard said in the video.
As the officers leave, the body cameras capture them talking amongst themselves about Dillard.
“That would be one of your city councilmen,” the officer says. “Always a pleasure and an outstanding member of society.”
Alderman Brian Woodall said he has only seen WSMV4 Investigates first report exposing Dillard admitting to calling his neighbor the “n-word.”
“Do I feel as if he should remain an alderman? No, I don’t feel as if he should. I don’t think he represents the entire community,” Woodall said.
WSMV4 Investigates put that same question to Portland Mayor Mike Callis.
“Do you think he should resign? Does he have a place on this council with these views?” asked WSMV4 Investigates.
“As we’ve put before - as we said in a statement before - a lot of people don’t feel that he can represent them anymore,” Callis said.
WSMV4 Investigates repeatedly asked what Dillard would say to the people of color in his community, but he would not answer questions.
We will continue to investigate to see if there is any fallout.
If there is anything you’d like us to investigate, just go here to fill out a form: https://www.wsmv.com/news/investigate/
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