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‘EM appointee demeans women, makes racist remarks’

Jim Bonsall and Cheryl Johnson

Jim Bonsall and Cheryl Johnson

DETROIT – Detroiters are outraged at comments made by City of Detroit Chief Financial Officer Jim Bonsall. According to a Detroit Free Press report, Bonsall has demeaned Black city workers and asked in jest if he could “shoot someone in a hoodie” during Angels’ Night.

The report is based on a letter written by city employee Cheryl Johnson, a Black woman, who was demoted by Bonsall.

Bonsall’s comment appears to be in reference to the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teenager. Martin was shot by George Zimmerman who was found not guilty for the fatal shooting. The verdict prompted nationwide protests.

Bonsall, a white man, made the remarks in a meeting with others including former council pro tem, now Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown, who told the Free Press: “I understood why Cheryl would have been offended…However, to me it didn’t rise to the level of harassment, and I had a conversation with Jim and pointed out the nature of the insensitivity in regard to the remark.”

Bonsall was appointed by Richard Baird, Gov. Rick Snyder’s transformation manager, who also appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

This morning, on Mildred Gaddis’ radio show Inside Detroit, callers urged citizens to call Gov. Snyder’s office at 517.373.3400 and demand Bonsall be removed from his position.

This is not the first time a Snyder appointee has been insensitive to Detroiters. In August, Orr labeled Detroiters “dumb, lazy, happy and rich” when he gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal.

 – Staff report

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