JERSEY CITY — Sexual sounds and racial slurs disrupted a virtual community meeting of more than 500 attendees on Friday, community leader Frank Gilmore said.
Gilmore told the Jersey Journal he helped organize the virtual Ward F meeting to inform the community about resources for youth mental health, public safety, affordable housing and more. But after Chris Gadsden — chairman of Jersey City’s NAACP political action committee and former Ward B councilman — spoke at the meeting, attendees started hearing “strange noises,” Gilmore said. .
“We had to mute someone and then it got crazy,” he said.
The organizers then ended the Zoom call to hopefully get rid of the noises. Gilmore said they started the virtual call again and resolved what happened, but were then cut off again.
“The person came back and said (n-word, n-word, n-word), and stuff like that,” Gilmore added.
Ward F Councilor Jermaine Robinson was not on the call, Gilmore said.
And while organizers could not identify the disruptor, Gilmore added that it would not stop community meetings in Ward F. He said the virtual calls provided important information to the public, examining the incident in a more positive outlook.
“It makes me think we’re doing something right,” he said. “It just gave me more energy to keep advocating with people.”
There will be moderators to prevent Friday’s incident from happening again, Gilmore added.
Friday was the first of Ward F’s virtual community meetings. The next one is scheduled for next month on the third Thursday, Gilmore said. The link will be available on their Facebook page.