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Local activist terminated from city's LGBTQ+ advisory board

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 18:30:31-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -

UPDATE:

Mayor Jean Stothert's office says local activist JaKeen Fox has been terminated from the city's LGBTQ+ advisory board. Stothert's office said Fox declined to step down after controversial tweets surfaced where he supported the man responsible for a shooting rampage in Dallas in 2016.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers staged a one man protest in opposition to the decision to remove Fox on Friday.

(Photo: Omaha World-Herald)

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Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says she will ask local activist JaKeen Fox to resign from the city's LGBTQ+ advisory board.

Stothert says Fox has been an "active and productive" member of the board "but his comment supporting the killer of five police officers and injuring nine others in Dallas, Texas in 2016 is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I am shocked that anyone would make such a statement."

On July 8, Fox tweeted "Rest in Power Micah X Johnson," a reference to the man responsible for the Dallas shooting rampage on July 7, 2016.

Six days after that tweet, Fox was questioned on Twitter about why he "paid tribute to a guy who murdered five police officers."

Ja Keen Fox

Fox responded, "He valued his life and the life of Black people enough not to wait around to be killed unjustly."

Stothert says "Members are of course entitled to their own opinions, but paying tribute to the killer of police officers is an opinion that has no value to the good work and outcomes of our boards."

Fox and Mayor Stothert were together in early June, when the mayor greeted protesters outside city hall. Fox was essentially the moderator between the mayor and protesters.

Mayor Stothert has the power to remove Fox from the board, if she wishes.

JaKeen Fox provided KMTV 3 News Now with this statement in response:

On July 8th, I wrote a tweet saying "Rest in Power Micah X Johnson" On July 14th Scott Voorhees, of 1110 KFAB asked "I'm curious, why you paid tribute to a guy who murdered five police officers in Dallas in 2016?" to which I responded "He valued his life and the life of Black people enough not tow wait around and be killed unjustly."

Today, I was informed by most of the news outlets in Omaha that the Mayor's office has sent out a press release stating that Mayor Stothert will be asking me to resign. I have not received that communication yet.

The reason I welcome this conversation is because it showcases two things:

1) Mayor Stothert has no problem utilizing her influence when she deems it necessary. So when asked repeatedly to protect protestors from prosecution, her replying no wasn't a question of if she could, but if she cared enough to do so. When asked how she will hold OPD accountable to the violence they enacted on citizens, during which time police officers were paid over $2 million in overtime, her equivocating wasn't because she wasn't empowered to do something, it was because she wasn't courageous enough to stand up for her constituents. Unless those constituents wear a gun and badge of course. The bias is not new or unexpected, but just made so much more obvious because of this time of social unrest.

2) I want to respond even more pointedly to Scott Voorhees' question, while acknowledging his interest in this is strictly because of his relationship to County Attorney Don Kleine. I pay tribute to Micah X with the same fervor YT Americans have paid tribute to the founding fathers of this country. If it's appropriate to pay tribute to a country that during its formation killed millions upon millions of Indigenous, Black, and Brown peoples, then surely I can pay tribute to Micah X.

I want to be as clear as possible. There will be no apology from me. I won't step down unless asked to do so by my fellow Board members or forced to do so by the Mayors office. If Mayor Stothert is "asking" me to resign, the answer is a resounding no. It's also very telling that the news was sent to the media first with no attempt to contact me personally.

In regards to Micah X Johnson, America has declared war on Black people for literal centuries, but continues to be shocked by Black people that refuse to accept state violence as normal. You will never see me advocate for Black people to be docile in the face of state violence. The old America wasn't formed that way and the new America we hope to build won't be achieved that way either.