Cleveland's District 1 residents speak out about McKenzie - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland's District 1 residents speak out about McKenzie

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB)  --  It's one week later and the unrest between community members and District 1 Councilman Charlie McKenzie hasn't subsided. 

Since last Monday, members of the Bradley County NAACP have gone door to door in McKenzie's district with a petition demanding his resignation.

McKenzie is accused of using racial slurs on several occasions while on the job at the Bradley County Sheriff's Office. McKenzie resigned from that job citing health reasons.

Officials with the NAACP say they've obtained hundreds of signatures and their work is far from over.

However, in McKenzie's district, not knowing what really happened could wind up hurting him.

"I believe sometimes everybody will make a mistake or say something they regret, maybe not even believing what they said, just out of mis-content," says resident Neacy Brewer.  

"He knows whether he has or not. If he has done it, he needs to step down," resident Shirley Cheek says.

"I don't think Charlie is a racist. I've known him my whole life. He's a good man as far as I know," says resident Bruce.  

McKenzie was not available for comment Tuesday.

Councilman Dale Hughes, who voted against asking McKenzie to resign, tells Channel 3 his decision was based on the city charter. It says the council does not have the authority to discipline or remove a council member. Still, others say asking him to leave is well within the council's rights.

"If he said it then they should do something about it, but if he didn't they need to drop it," says resident Harry Kelly.

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