A Michigan city councilman allegedly used racial slurs against a neighbor who then struck him with a baseball bat, according to police.
Michael Flores, a Saginaw councilman, denied that claim by his neighbor Walter Curley, who struck him with the bat during an Aug. 29 property dispute that resulted in his arrest, but prosecutors so far have declined to charge him with felonious assault, reported MLive.
“We did, in fact, decline to issue charges when it was first presented to us,” said assistant prosecutor Blair Stevenson. “However, as is the case from time to time, we agreed to take a second look at it, and it is still under review.”
Curley told police he was looking outside his doorway and spotted Flores crossing through his yard and warned him to stay off the property, and the councilman told him he would cut through the yard whenever he wanted. Flores approached and snatched open the door, so Curley grabbed his bat in case the councilman became aggressive, he told officers.
That's when Flores used racial slurs multiple times, according to Curley, his fiancé and their friend, who all are Black.
“(Flores) said to us, ‘That’s the reason why the world is (expletive) up today, because of you (n-word),’” said fiancée Diana Gaines. “I didn’t even know he was a city councilman until later. That’s a city councilman talking about Black people like that?”
Curley struck the councilman on the leg with the bat, which police said resulted in minor injuries, and Flores denies using racist language.
“I’ve never said any racial slur to anybody in my entire life,” said Flores, who is Hispanic.
“I understand all too well the pain and degradation that any form of racism causes, not only on the victim, but also their family and friends, and most importantly, to our city,” Flores added. “I’ve never resorted to getting so low as to judge or talk down to any person simply by the color of their skin, we should all be critiqued by our own actions, and our actions alone.”