Protesters call for Petal mayor to resign after comments about George Floyd

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PETAL, Miss. (WHLT) – Protesters called for the resignation of Petal Mayor Hal Marx on Friday.

The protest come after the mayor posted controversial statements about the death of George Floyd on his social media pages. He says his remarks were misconstrued as racist and that he wanted people to see all the facts before judging police

On Thursday, Marx resisted calls to resign by the town’s board of aldermen and residents. Marx said he would “never surrender to the mob mentality.”

On Friday, the City of Petal Board of Aldermen released a statement on Facebook about Mayor Marx:

The city and surrounding communities of Petal, MS have grown to be a place where individuals of all walks, backgrounds, and beliefs are valued, supported, and celebrated. It’s our goal to continue to embrace our diverse community and prosper. The strides made thus far in our community are great. Petal has become a hometown destination to many due to our excellent school district, safe way of life, and community support for one another.

Recently, Mayor Hal Marx has taken to social media and repeatedly made comments that have isolated, enraged, and belittled individuals in a way that is unbecoming of our city. Furthermore, these remarks have alienated certain groups of our population, which is counterproductive to our diverse community.

Over the past few days, the vast number of our constituents who have reached out to us showing their disapproval and disdain have made it obvious that we can no longer accept this reality.

Based on Hal Marx’s continual distasteful remarks, the board of alderman feels he is out of touch with the citizens and unfit to continue in his capacity as Mayor. It is unacceptable for a leader in our community to make these remarks with little or no thought to the affects they will have on the very people which he/she leads.

Hal Marx’s comments are not an embodiment of the values that the city of Petal stands for. As strongly as the board of alderman feel about this matter, the MS state law fails us in that the board of alderman has no authority to remove a mayor from his position, nor do the citizens through a recall election.

We, as a board, do promise, however, to take every action available to us to ensure that Hal Marx’s future as a leader in the city of Petal is limited.

David Clayton, Ward 1
Steve Stringer, Ward 2
Clint Moore, Ward 3
Brad Amacker, Ward 4
Tony Ducker, Ward 5
Craig Bullock, Ward 6

The Petal Police Department released a statement on Facebook about Friday’s protests.

I wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation in the manner to which the protest was conducted today. I believe it allowed voices to be heard in civil order. Thank you to everyone who was mindful of the respect and dignity towards one another. God bless you all.

Chief Matthew Hiatt, Petal Police Dept.

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