KNOE 8 Exclusive: Racial slurs tossed around Jonesboro meeting - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

KNOE 8 Exclusive: Racial slurs tossed around Jonesboro government meeting

Posted: Updated: July 13, 2012 10:23 PM

JONESBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Fighting within the City of Jonesboro continues -- as budget levels are low and tensions high as city leaders decide how to spend what money they have.

In a story you'll only see here on KNOE 8 News, many in the community are concerned with the racial slurs that were tossed around following their most recent meeting.

Openly expressed opinions and flaring tempers are neither uncommon at city council meetings. Especially in towns like Jonesboro, in Southeast Jackson Parish, where money remains tight, leaving city leaders to make tough budget decisions. Decisions like reallocating nearly $300,000.00 away from the police department, to cover other vital services.

That said, never do you expect to hear racially charged comments like those used this past Tuesday by city resident Carla Roberts directed at Alderman Lastevic Cottingham. "I'm tired of these god d*** n*****'s. Yeah I said it. Every one of you." shouted Carla Roberts in a YouTube video courtesy of David Dill.

When speaking to KNOE during a phone interview, Roberts offered her explanation: "Well I'm sorry for getting that angry and using that type of word because I've taught my kids not to use it and we didn't raise out kids to be racist nor am I a racist even though I did use that word."

Cottingham says he's not offended by the racial slur, but is disappointed Roberts made a city problem -- personal. "When you put me under that category, you put me in with good company, with the likes of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Junior, you know Frederick Douglas, these are African Americans that they are so affectionately called n*****'s and made a change over there in America." said Lastevic Cottingham to KNOE via a phone interview.

The residents we spoke with, didn't want to appear on camera, but tell us they're concerned these most recent comments made by Roberts will spin the city into a hole, it cannot dig out of. The budget crisis continues in Jonesboro, right now, state leaders are considering a financial take over of the city's books.

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