Outrages protesters have taken to the sidewalk outside of an elected official’s business in Spalding County after they say the man, the chairperson of a recent City County meeting, should have responded faster to a racially charged comments made during the meeting.

Protesters are agitated with how the chairperson responded after racially charged comments during a commissioner’s meeting. Commissioner Doug Hollberg did speak up eventually, but only after another commissioner spoke up, saying the racially charged words were offensive.

Commissioner Rodney McCord said the man at the podium was a former commissioner. McCord claims Larry Johnson attended the meeting as a journalist.

CBS46 went to Johnson’s house, but he did not allow our cameras inside. He said he counts McCord as a friend, and he said while he is a journalist, he was not at the meeting in that capacity.

Johnson showed pictures on his wall where he had served as a Griffin City Commissioner with black people, one of them he said is a mentor.

He would only add that he’d be sending me a statement with his stance.

McCord said he and Johnson are not friends, and he said despite it all, he doesn’t believe race places a huge factor in the Spalding County city of Griffin.

“We’re just too diverse, we have too many good things going on,” he said.

But he said recently there has been tension after the board chair declared April as Confederate History Month, and April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day.

Right now, McCord said they do not have guidelines in place that govern what a person can’t say during public comment. The board voted down the proclamation during a council meeting on Tuesday.

Larry Johnson provided a statement to CBS46:

For those that I have offended I apologize.

I was trying to make a point about a time in my life when I was about 5 years old playing with other kids about that age; black and white kids not yet touched by cruelties in the world. In doing so I used words familiar back then - but I was interrupted and did not get to say "We no longer use those words today and the world is a better place."

Larry Johnson

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