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Portsmouth councilman apologizes for “thug” comment in tweets

Posted at 10:31 AM, Jul 11, 2016

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth City Councilman Bill Moody took to social media on Sunday night to express his distaste in the Black Lives Matter protest that shut down I-264 at the Downtown Tunnel.

Moody made a series of tweets condemning the protesters, even going so far as to refer to them as "thugs."

The tweets immediately received a great deal of backlash and Moody responded to several people saying he "should have used lawbreakers" and that "thugs was too strong." He also said he "supports protesting but not breaking the law."

On Monday, he issued a formal apology on his Facebook and Twitter accounts for using the word thug.

"Last night after receiving numerous calls from upset commuters trying to find alternate routes to their homes or work I tweeted and posted on FB a description of the protesters as thugs. Although I re-tweeted later that the word I used  was too strong I want to apologize for using it!  Although I don't condone the shutting down of a tunnel and interstate by protesters which is against the law I was made aware that once the State Police made the protesters aware they peacefully stopped blocking the road and tunnel.  Both the PPD and protesters are to be commended for showing restraint! Once again I apologize for the use of the word."

Moody's tweets drew a sharp rebuke from Mayor Kenny Wright. Wright took to Facebook today and wrote about Moody's comments saying "inexcusable and will not be tolerated! This matter will be discussed at our next council meeting!"

Wright and Moody are frequent critics of each other.