FORT WORTH, Texas — The Fort Worth city council Tuesday night voted unanimously to remove Michael Steele from the Human Relations Commission, following a series of inappropriate Facebook posts and calls from the mayor for him to resign.
Mayor Betsy Price called on Steele to resign last month, after screenshots depicting racist and transphobic posts made by the commission member circulated online.
Price called the posts inappropriate and disrespectful.
One 2018 post includes a link to an article blaming the downfall of the Republican Party on immigrants. The caption, which appears to have been written by Steele, says, “buy ammo.”
The council vote comes days after the deadly mass shooting in El Paso, where the alleged gunman appears to have targeted immigrants.
"Seeing what happened in El Paso and people died from it...it’s messed up," said Fort Worth resident Aya Kawsara.
Steele is one of nine members on the commission, which was created to promote diversity and inclusion.
Council member Ann Zadeh vowed to have Steele removed in a July 3 Facebook post.
"The attitudes and statements made in his posts are completely inappropriate and do not in my opinion represent the values of the citizens of Fort Worth," Zadeh wrote. "It is my intention that the Council act to remove Mr. Steele when we return on August 6th either on the recommendation of the Commission or unilaterally."
The commission passed a resolution July 15 calling for the City Council to remove Steele.
Steele could not be reached for comment ahead of the council vote Tuesday. He previously commented on the matter to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
"As a proud father of a LGBT son, I vehemently reject the defamatory comments posted about me on social and local media," he wrote in an email to the Star-Telegram. "Some may not agree with my message, but I followed the policies and procedures set forth by the City. I do not intend to resign. I have fought foreign enemies, and I will fight domestic social media mobs."
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