Ray City council member accused of remark that offends community

Ray City council member accused of remark that offends community
Ray City council member accused of remark that offends community
Posted at 3:39 AM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 00:39:40-05

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A community is up in arms after a sitting city council member made a remark that he would have shot two unarmed men in Berrien County after a dispute with police.

The comment was made during Tuesday's city council meeting.

"He said if that was me, I would have shot him."

This was a statement made during the city council meeting in Ray City Tuesday night that is causing quite the controversy.

Former Mayor Carl Camon said after a racial profiling presentation, someone mentioned an incident where two black boys were cursing at an officer.

That's when city councilman Frank "Hank" Studstill apparently said You should have shot them, if that was me, I would have shot them.

"When he said that, there were gasps all over the audience and it was a full council meeting that night and people all over the audience that night, white, black whoever was there were shocked," said Camon.

After the statement, a woman who had just moved to the area, and attending her first council meeting, spoke out.

"This was her first time at the city council meeting and she said that council member should not be sitting up there and she received a round of applause and I was among on of those applauding and agreeing," said community member Jack Castro.

WALB made several attempts to get in contact with Councilman Studstill, but have not heard back.

We have also a reached out to the city hall to collect a summary of Tuesday's meeting and they tell us it is still being prepared.

WALB spoke with Mary Molay who is currently on the council and she confirmed that this happened and that she did, in fact, speak out against the statement. 

"I said that he should apologize and he refused to apologize and indicated that there was no way he didn't mean what he said or was about to take it back," Castro.

Community members agree that this must be addressed to prevent future incidents from occurring.

"If you say things like that you're emboldening the police to say whatever we do or whatever we're still doing we might as well keep doing it because at least we have one council member on our side," said Camon. 

The Ray City officials are expected to release the summary of Tuesday's meeting sometime tomorrow.

This is a story that we will continue to follow-up with.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.

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