Brooklyn Center police are investigating an August 10 hacking of a virtual city council work session where racial obscenities were hurled at the council’s members of color. The city’s mayor is Liberian-born Mike Elliott, the first Black mayor of that city. April Graves and Marquita Butler are the other two Black council members. The council has five members, which includes the mayor.
Northwest Community Television’s CCX Media reports that the Zoom meeting that started normally quickly changed when two men hacked into the meeting and launched a diatribe of derogatory comments at the Black council members. The hackers took control of the screen and wrote Nazi symbols over it. The city was able to take control within a few minutes, covered the offensive language, and muted the audio.
“They came on the call to cause chaos and hurt and to those people of color that was on the call specifically, the council members,” said Graves.
Mayor Elliott told CCX Media’s Sonya Goins that “I know this was specifically an attack seemingly on me, directed me, but it was an attack on all of us. I saw it as someone coming into the public space, and that represents the city of Brooklyn Center and all of the residents of Brooklyn Center collectively.”
Brooklyn Center officials have since stopped using Zoom and instead rely on WebEx for their meetings.