Anchorage mayor apologizes for Star of David comments

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU/CNN) – In Alaska, a debate between city leaders and the public got intense. Several people were arrested. Many in the crowd cheered when someone used a homophobic slur. Now, the mayor is apologizing for remarks he made about holocaust symbols, worn by some mask opponents.

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson said, “I’m truly sorry”

Mayor Bronson apologized Thursday night for his comments the previous evening. Those comments indicated support of people who wore yellow Stars of David to protest a proposed mask mandate. The symbols serve as reminders of the holocaust during world war two.

Bronson admitted he made a mistake, saying, “I want to apologize for any perception that my statements support or compare what happened to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany.”

Wednesday night also saw many disruptions. One speaker hurled a homophobic slur at assembly member Chris Constant.

“The part that in fact shocked me to silence was when roughly 200 people cheered zealously,” Constant said. “That was the part that zinged me and really took my breath away for a minute.”

The incident is one of many that took place that forced several breaks in the hearing.

Assembly members, such as Kameron Perez Verdia, said such behaviors will not be tolerated: “they don’t have a right to threaten, they don’t have a right to degrade, and they don’t have a right to be disrespectful.”

Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance constantly warned the public about the rules. They are posted at the entrance to the assembly chambers. The list details what type of behavior is accepted, and what is not.

Four people learned that lesson the hard way Wednesday night. Police not only escorted them out, three men and one woman, they also arrested them. All face formal criminal charges.

The assembly did not debate or vote on the mask ordinance. The public hearing is set to continue Monday in the assembly chambers.

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