"I stand in support of Detective Leslie Branch-Wise in her call for an investigation into her claim of being sexual harassed by Mayor Michael Hancock. City Council's decision to not further investigate this matter without consent from Branch-Wise is paternalistic, dismissive and "risks re-victimizing" her. I believe she has a right to due process and respect her courage to call for and cooperate with an investigation.
The way in which the Branch-Wise situation is being handled by City Council, those in power and public opinion highlight why many victims remain in the shadows and refuse to come forward.
As a community leader it is important for me to use my voice and platform to stand firmly in the corner of Branch-Wise even when the accused is Black like me. Had the mayor been white or from a different political party I am certain there would be a larger outcry from Black and Democratic Party leadership.
Therefore, I am going on record so that current and future generations will not be able to say brother jeff was silent on the issue of sexual harassment due to race, power or politics. An independent investigation will gain the public trust and show a true commitment to transparency."
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