SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. - The woman in a video which has become the talk of Spalding County is Commissioner Gwen flowers Taylor. The man is Bobby Purifoy. That's how he identified himself during a commission meeting Monday night as he commented about and criticized the commissioner's voting record.
Woody Ward attended the meeting and witnessed the heated debate outside in the parking lot. He believes the commissioner went too far and played the race card when she called Peurifoy a racist.
"That just came out of nowhere. She was fussing at him and pointing at him and said he was the most racist man she's ever seen and no one had said anything about race until she did. I was like, where did that come from?" Ward said Wednesday.
By phone, the commissioner told FOX 5 Mews she followed Mr. Peurifoy out to the parking lot because she felt he verbally attacked her. She said it was wrong for him to use such harsh tones with her because she supported an ordinance that would put some restrictions on a gun owners’ ability to discharge their weapons on their Spalding County properties.
"I didn't comment when he was verbally attacking me during the committee meeting. I just sat there and listened and he had to be told by the chairman of the board that you can't use public comment to make personal attacks. I was just trying to respond to all the things that he said when I was listening to him," Flowers-Taylor said.
The video was posted on the Spalding County discussion page and sparked a hearty debate among residents. Some believe the commissioner instigated the matter. Others believe Peurifoy's tone was inappropriate and demeaning.
Mr. Ward said he was most offended when the commissioner suggested the Constitution didn't apply to her when Peurifoy said she should learn more about the NRA and the Second Amendment.
"I was simply referring to the fact that black people weren't even recognized as full citizens of the United States at the time the Constitution was written, so it did not apply to us. But I was not saying I don't respect the Constitution. I'm a licensed gun owner. I respect the Constitution and the Second Amendment, but I also deserve to be respected," she said.
Law enforcement officers did try to break up the argument, but no one was arrested and no one was injured.