Statement from Alder Keith Furman:
I want to address the report that was released in response to September 1, 2020 Council Meeting Incident.
First and foremost, I want to extend my support to Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores. What happened at the meeting on the night of September 1 was a verbal attack on a dedicated member of our community that was abhorrent and unacceptable. Ms. Kilfoy-Flores, you are among the best of our community and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the tireless work and advocacy that you do.
Second, though my name and photo appear in the report among the people considered by the forensic analyst as possible sources of the slur, I can say unequivocally that I did not utter a slur that night, do not use the word that was said, and would never disrespect a member of the public.
Those who are familiar with my work on the council may note that I am a direct communicator and I am not shy when I feel strongly about a topic. But my record shows that I have been a supporter of the work of the MPD Policy and Procedure Ad Hoc Committee and a proponent of the formation of the Civilian Oversight Board, of which Ms. Kilfoy-Flores is now a member. I believe my record shows that there would little reason for me to hold any ill will toward her.
Though the report results were ultimately inconclusive, I believe that there was a pattern of highly unprofessional behavior by Alder Skidmore during that meeting and around the same time as the slur. I sent an email to Council President Carter and City Attorney Haas the day after the incident urging them to initiate an investigation.
I strongly condemn acts of misogyny and racism that continue to permeate our culture. I’m incredibly disappointed this report does not more clearly offer a path for accountability in this matter.