The mayor of an Arkansas city was so incensed over videos of Black women dancing at a pool party that she penned an angry letter to the city’s parks director demanding that the party goers be banned from renting out the space ever again.
Former alderman Danny Steele filed a lawsuit against Bryant, Arkansas Mayor Jill Dabbs on Tuesday over a laundry list of complaints brought by city employees, according to the Arkansas Times. The lawsuit claims several other complaints against Dabbs still have not been turned over.
Among the complaints cited in the lawsuit was one brought by parks director Chris Treat, who criticized Dabbs’ treatment of a pool party attended by mostly Black guests. In July, a promoter from Little Rock rented out a pool from the city’s parks department and threw a private party, a ticketed event replete with a DJ and its own security.
Videos from the event made its rounds on social media, showing scantily-clad Black women bent over and twerking poolside in their swimsuits. The images drew the ire of Dabbs, who deemed them “crude” and “pornographic.”
Outraged, she wrote a letter to Treat demanding action so an event like that would never take place in Bryant again.
“For the second time this summer a group of individuals has rented our pools, brought their own security detail, charged admission for an adult party and then posted pornographic videos on social media indicating that this pornographic behavior is happening in our facilities,” she griped.
“There is debate whether this crude and nude dancing was actually in our park or just made to look like it was,” Dabbs added. “But none the less I am demanding we don’t rent to these individuals again.”
No laws were broken at the party, nor was there any violence. Still, the mayor was upset with what had taken place and called Treat into a meeting with the police chief, demanding that he make no positive statements about the event, the newspaper reported.
Treat refused and countered in his own complaint criticizing aspects of Dabbs’ supervision to human resources, which is now a part of the lawsuit.
“I felt coerced into making a statement that met the Mayor, Police Chief, and, Staff Attorneys version of the events not my own,” he wrote. “In my opinion they over responded to the event because the event was attended by African Americans. The Mayor is working on adding Parks Department Policies to keep these kind of events from happening again [and] I’m concerned that her new policies will be discriminatory in nature.”
He continued, “I have experienced working under difficult administrative circumstances before, but nothing in my past personal or professional experience prepared me for the dehumanizing, chaotic, dishonest, unprofessional and often times downright hostile culture of the Dabbs administration.”
Watch more in the clip below.