BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — "Alarmed" and "startled," those are some of the reactions to a controversial Facebook post from an elected official in Brandon Township that has some asking for a resignation.
Trustee Bob Marshall refers to “reds” and “yellows” and calls Black Lives Matter a hate group. While some are calling his comments racist, he says he is expressing his opinion.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Bob Marshall, one of four elected trustees in Brandon Township, says he was a police officer for over 30 years and that he believes what happened to George Floyd was not justified and abhorrent.
He starts off his post though, by explaining why for the first time in more than 20 years, he is disappointed in the people he serves. He references what he calls a local Black Lives Matter demonstration, saying the people at the rally “were supporting a hate group that seeks to target police officers for harm and death. They seek to target my friends.They seek to target my family. They seek to target ME."
Mickey McDonald, one of hundreds of commenters on the post, says he’s confused.
“Nowhere have I ever seen that Black people are saying they want to shoot cops. They just don’t want to be shot by cops,” says McDonald.
It’s worth noting that Black Lives Matter organizers said in a Detroit News opinion piece, “The official Detroit chapter of Black Lives Matter has yet to organize a protest action.”
Marissa Prince was at the local rally Marshall referenced, it was organized by the Ortonville Peaceful Anti-racism Alliance.
“The rally wasn’t anything like what he described,” says Prince.
She says she and her daughter participated in the rally to take a stand against racism along with about 30 others.
“It was pretty much just holding signs. People stopped and gave us drinks and smoothies and a lot of people honked and waved and gave thumbs up and things like that, it was really nice,” says Prince.
Trustee Bob Marshall also writes in his post, “The falsehood that Blacks are, in overwhelming numbers disproportionately killed by white police officers is demonstrably false. I will not state the numbers here.”
His post referred to people as “reds” and “yellows." Marshall defended himself in the comments saying he used those terms in historical context. He also mentions that he teaches criminal justice.
“To me it’s even more important that someone in that role at least try to understand different perspectives,” says Prince.
“I can’t imagine that people don’t understand what Black Lives Matter is about, either they don’t care or they refuse to read anything of substantial news,” says McDonald.
Some commenters are asking for his resignation, but Prince believes education is what is needed.
The Brandon Township Supervisor says that Marshall does not speak for the township or for the board of trustees, but that he is entitled to his opinion like everyone else.