Idaho city council censures member who said 'diversity' led to greater crime during heated meeting
Pocatello City Councilman Roger Bray

According to the East Idaho News, the city council of Pocatello has voted to censure a member who used "racial slurs" and claimed that crime is a result of "diversity."

The offending councilman, Roger Bray, was not actually in attendance for the vote, because he was sick with COVID-19.

"Issues arose at a July 7 budget meeting when Bray made a comment about the city not needing additional police officers due to its limited diversity. That comment incurred condemnation from two members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the July 21 meeting," reported Kalama Hines. "After the meeting, Bray spoke with the NAACP members and, according to multiple sources, stuck by his statement, creating further issues. In the days following, the Pocatello police and fire unions called for Bray’s resignation. The city council responded by putting the censure, which is an official reprimand and not any sort of formal punishment, on Thursday’s agenda."

"Before council members were asked to vote, [Councilwoman Chris] Stevens read a written statement provided by Bray. In it, he defended his stance that diversity refers to more than just race and that diversity can lead to an increase in crimes," the report noted. "Mayor Brian Blad commented in response to the statement, saying it was 'riddled with racial slurs and racial innuendos.'"

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The motion censuring Bray also affirmed a 2020 resolution "affirming the city of Pocatello as a welcoming and inclusive city.”

This comes as Idaho policymakers confront how portions of the state have become a haven for white supremacist groups. This tension was exemplified in June, when police in Coeur d'Alene apprehended and arrested a truck full of members of the neo-fascist group Patriot Front on their way to terrorize a Pride event, after which officers were inundated with death threats for their actions.