CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Wednesday, Charleston City Mayor John Tecklenburg announced that he would send a resolution to City Council calling for the relocation of the John C. Calhoun monument.
The announcement was initially met with cheers from those in support of the removal, but there was evident backlash as well.
As soon as Mayor Tecklenburg concluded his remarks, activist Gee Jordan stepped up to the podium to make comments. At the same time, a citizen approached Mayor Tecklenburg, in what initially seemed to be a cordial interaction.
Mayor Tecklenburg and the man bumped elbows and exchanged hellos. The conversation between the two men was being picked up by the microphones, so Jordan asked “hey, can I speak for a second?”
The conversation took a hostile turn when the man replied “no, I’m speaking right now.”
Mayor Tecklenburg began to walk away when the man grabbed him and said “how does it feel to sell your soul to a bunch of thugs out here?” Mayor Tecklenburg replies that he “respectfully disagrees.”
Seconds later, Mayor Tecklenburg wife pulls him away and seems to ask him to help Jordan reclaim the attention of the audience. Mayor Tecklenburg then asks everyone to pay attention to Jordan, and the man appears to walk away.
The identity of the man who made the comments to Mayor Tecklenburg is unknown. Some viewers thought the man looked like North Charleston Mayor, Keith Summey. Mayor Summey was quick to dispel the rumor, saying in part “clearly this is not me. I am incensed at even being attributed to such a bigoted statement.”
Mayor Summey also noted that he was at home in quarantine with his wife, “awaiting the results of a now negative COVID-19 test.”