City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod said Tuesday she is tired of some individuals saying that creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) means black people can't come downtown.
She said, "I'm tired of the fact that the plight of black people is being used when it comes to those type conversations."
She said, "We can come downtown. There are black people walking downtown all the time. I'm down here all the time and I always feel welcome.
"If there is somebody who feels differently, let's roll together. We'll walk the streets together."
Councilwoman Coonrod said, "We have to get out of this mindset that we're not welcome downtown. That's why they feel that way because they are constantly replaying that message in their heads."
She asked City Attorney Phil Noblett if there is anything in the proposed BID ordinance on "black removal" or that says "blacks can't come downtown."
He replied, "No m'am, I did not draft anything like that."
Councilwoman Coonrod said, "The last time I checked the police were not arresting black people for just walking downtown. If that is happening, we need to make sure Internal Affairs is aware of that."
Councilman Anthony Byrd said there are at least two black-owned businesses within the proposed BID.