Muncie councilwoman censured for ‘monkey’ comment

Local

Muncie at-large Council Member Linda Gregory appears Nov. 12, 2019, at a meeting in City Hall. (WISH Photo/Dan Klein)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A Muncie councilwoman was censured Tuesday night after a comment to police that some believed to be racist.

At-large Council Member Linda Gregory told police in a September council meeting to look for monkeys in McCullough Park. Her comments were livestreamed and posted on the city’s Facebook page. She apologized for her comments in October and again Tuesday night during a council meeting at City Hall.

Gregory and Council President Doug Marshall voted against the censure, which was supported by the seven other council members.

Gregory, a Democrat, last week lost her reelection bid in a six-person race won by three Republicans.

In her apology, she said her comments about monkey business referred to criminal activity in the park. Plus, Gregory noted, she recalled the park had actual monkeys in the 1950s.

An April 1933 edition of The Muncie Morning Star says 31 rhesus monkeys were moved to a new home in the park in 1933 by the parks superintendent, according to an online report by Muncie Magazine. The monkeys were housed in an enclosure with an island with boulders and smaller stones in dirt that was surrounded by a trench to keep the animals contained.

Council member Julius Anderson said he was upset by Gregory’s comments and said her apologies did not seem to be heartfelt.

The censure was on the agenda for the council meeting in October, but, because of a long agenda of items, was delayed until Tuesday night.

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