A Mississippi mayor says his online meeting was hacked with vulgar and racist words and images because of his recent comments about the new coronavirus in his city.
Moss Point Mayor Mario King was leading a board of aldermen meeting Tuesday night on Zoom when someone interrupted the online gathering, which the mayor was also streaming on Facebook Live, news outlets reported.
The meeting was ended and the mayor did a separate Facebook Live, lasting nearly an hour, addressing the hack. King said this was not a new experience for him because he often receives racist messages. He also says some hackers tried to interrupt a different call earlier Tuesday.
“It is unfortunate when we see blatant racism, however, as a black man this is normal for me,” King said.
The mayor has been an outspoken critic of the state’s and Gov. Tate Reeves’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia.
African Americans account for more than half of Mississippi’s coronavirus cases and deaths, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. African Americans make up about 38% of the state’s population of nearly 3 million people.
Future Zoom meetings for Moss Point will still be held online, King said. He added that he will require a password for the online gatherings so if there are any more issues, the user’s IP address can be obtained.
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