Mayor Mario King speaks out on racially offensive hacking of Zoom meeting

Today Moss Point city officials are speaking out following yesterday’s virtual city meeting where racially offensive images and slurs were posted by a hacker.

Reminders of the current COVID-19 outbreak are ever-present at Moss Point City Hall, that’s why city officials have decided to conduct board meetings virtually during this time. However, Tuesday night’s public meeting on the app Zoom showed an ugly downside to conducting business electronically. Mayor Mario King said, “It was just so disrespectful. It was beyond what you probably could show on TV.”

An unidentified account posted racially offensive words and images regarding African-Americans and women as the meeting progressed, prompting the postponement of the rest of the session.

Mayor Mario King says the city will continue to find virtual ways to allow public access to meetings with added measures in place. “We will no longer be using Zoom, we will be using a different platform, but I’ll do the same process. That number will be posted, you’ll just have to register and actually have to complete a user password to be a part of those meetings and be verified.”

And while changes are being made to the way city meetings are conducted during this time, this matter is still being referred to law enforcement.

Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley says recordings of the incident have been turned over to an FBI Task Force Agent for investigation, but identifying the responsible party may be difficult. “You know with something like this, you know, you never know, it could be your neighbor or someone in a foreign country.”

Moving forward Mayor King says this incident will not deter the city from getting vital information out to citizens. “I won’t let a few cowards and keyboard warriors get in the way of me being able to provide our community with access, allowing me to be transparent, we will continue to do these things, we just have to use a different platform.”

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