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KC councilwoman issues apology to fellow council member

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 20:43:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, city councilwoman issued an apology Thursday, one week after making remarks during a KCMO City Council meeting that many have described as racist.

Northland councilwoman Teresa Loar was involved in an incident during the July 23 meeting with fellow councilwoman Melissa Robinson in which she questioned the qualifications of Robinson, who is Black, after a speech she delivered.

“I’m here today to publicly apologize to my colleague Councilman Melissa Robinson for my hurtful words and actions,” Loar said, reading from prepared remarks during Thursday’s council meeting. “I speak from my heart when ask for her forgiveness. It is important for me to learn from this and be a better colleague in the future.”

Loar also apologized to the council and pledged not to act that way again.

“I hope you can forgive me and support me in my efforts to do better and let the healing begin,” Loar said.

Robinson made no immediate response to Loar’s apology during the meeting.

After Loar’s remarks, Mayor Quinton Lucas also addressed the altercation, saying Loar’s apology was needed. He also apologized to Robinson for not calling out Loar’s initial remarks.

Lucas said that Loar had agreed to take implicit bias training within the next week.

“It’s necessary that we do better,” Lucas said.

The apology came hours after leaders from 10 Black churches and several other civic organizations — including Freedom, Inc., Black Rainbow, the KC chapter of National Black United Front, Urban Summit, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — called for the mayor to remove Loar as chair of the council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee.