‘Weird noises’ disrupt Ward F virtual community meeting


Jersey City community leaders speak out against police's use of force in street brawl

Jersey City community leaders, including Frank Gilmore, speak out on Friday, May 8, 2020, against the police’s use of force to break upTuesday’s street bawl on Bostwick Avenue.Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY — Sexual sounds and racial slurs disrupted a virtual community meeting of over 500 attendees on Friday, said community leader Frank Gilmore.

Gilmore told The Jersey Journal that he helped organize the virtual Ward F meeting to inform the community of resources for youths’ mental health, public safety, affordable housing and more. But after Chris Gadsden — Jersey City NAACP Political Action Committee Chair and former Ward B councilman — spoke in the meeting, attendees began to hear “weird noises,” Gilmore said.

“We had to mute someone, and then it just got crazy,” he said.

Organizers then ended the Zoom call to hopefully get rid of the noises. Gilmore said they started the virtual call back up and addressed what happened, but then they were disrupted once again.

“The person came back and said (n-word, n-word, n-word), and stuff like that,” Gilmore added.

Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson was not on the call, Gilmore said.

And though organizers couldn’t pinpoint the disrupter, Gilmore added that that’s not going to stop the Ward F community meetings. He said the virtual calls provide important information to the public, looking at the incident in a more positive perspective.

“This makes me think that we’re doing something right,” he said. “That just gave me more energy to keep advocating to the people.”

There will be moderators to prevent Friday’s incident from happening again, Gilmore added.

Friday was the first of Ward F’s virtual community meetings. The next one is planned for next month on the third Thursday, Gilmore said. The link will be available on their Facebook page.

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