Calls Mount for Irvine Mayor
Irvine Mayor Christina Shea is drawing criticism for recent Facebook postings and discussions where she took issue publicly with protesters who called the police department racist or promoted hostile sentiments to officers.
Shea’s stance drew a harsh rebuke on Friday night from Orange County’s Black bar association on the steps of city hall, with lawyers and community leaders calling on Shea to apologize, step down or prepare to be voted out.
“We are here tonight because we are outraged by the expressions of indifference, intolerance, and injustice we have seen over the last few days from the mayor of Irvine,” said Irvine resident Rebekah Thomas, president-elect of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association.
“In the face of peaceful protesting, Mayor Shea has spoken and written about her intention to stop those who would bring radical behavior, expressions of anger, and other unrest to a place she calls her city. Not our city,” Thomas said.
“Something is happening in our city. Something is happening in our world…we are in a place where we will no longer tolerate intolerance.”
Based in Orange County, the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association is the only black bar association in Orange County, and is an affiliate of the Orange County Bar Association. They have nearly 100 active members including lawyers, judges, students and others according to Thomas.
Friday’s press conference was led by Thomas, and included comments by the association’s vice president Hollie Washington, Rev. William Summerville and one of Shea’s colleagues on the city council, Councilwoman Farrah Khan, the only city representative to speak at the conference.
The comments in question came from a video statement released by Shea and several comments on her Facebook page that many felt were insensitive to the issue.
“I will not allow my city to become the location for expression of anger and hate against my residents and my stellar police force, who I stand behind 100%,” Shea said in the video. “I do not personally support displays that host profanity, comments of our police officers being racist, or promoting hostility.”
Critics say Shea is way off in trying to squash free expression.