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  • City’s first Black mayor says heavily edited leaked audio part of extortion attempt

    City’s first Black mayor says heavily edited leaked audio part of extortion attempt

    Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed claims the audio, which a conservative news site first released, used carefully selected snippets of his voice.

    The first Black mayor of Alabama’s capital city claims that a leaked audio recording of his voice is part of an extortion attempt against him.

    Three audio recordings of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, all of which appear heavily edited, were leaked on Sunday. They capture Reed referencing the Black vote, economic growth and disdain for Maxwell Gunther Air Force Base while sprinkling his rants with profanity, AL.com reported.

    In a statement released Monday night, Reed declined to identify the perpetrator of the alleged extortion attempt but claimed a Montgomery community member unlawfully recorded their conversation. “There is an audio clip that features me speaking privately with a member of the Montgomery community,” he said. “This clip has been heavily edited and features carefully selected soundbites of my voice. The conversation was recorded without my knowledge or consent by this community member almost three years ago.”

    Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed speaks on Feb. 21, 2023 at a press conference at City Hall in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo: Mickey Welsh/ The Montgomery Advertiser/USA TODAY NETWORK)

    The first recording, titled “Montgomery AL’s First Black Mayor Doesn’t Care About Black Votes,” was uploaded to the YouTube account Montgomery Deserves Better on Sunday. In it, Reed allegedly claims that white voter support is more crucial for his political endurance and “white money” is essential to Montgomery’s economy.

    “I can come smile. I don’t f—— got to do no g—— work” Reed allegedly said, according to AL.com. “I don’t have to do no work systemically, and I’m gonna be fine. And guess what? I will always get 38% to 45% of the white vote,” adding that as long as he garners this level of white support, he doesn’t have to get the Black vote, as he did in the 2019 election. He’d still win, he maintains.

    In the second recording, Reed reportedly says he doesn’t care about Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery because he knows no one stationed there. Conservative news and opinion website 1819, which broke the story, received the recording and the third clip.

    In this one, the mayor supposedly says citizens or workers shouldn’t criticize his television appearances since they encourage investment in Montgomery. Also, he warns that “the descendants of Confederate soldiers” won’t invest in “systemic change” in Montgomery,” but “they’ll give you some charity.”

    Reed says before the questionable audio recording abrupt ends, “I got 45 years of being my dad’s son who was sitting in at 19..,” AL.com reported.

    “During this meeting, it became abundantly clear to me that this individual sought personal financial gain during a time of crisis in our city, state, and country,” the mayor said in the statement, referring to the social upheaval in the immediate wake of George Floyd’s death. “You have my word that no one in my administration will ever give in to a shakedown or extortion.”

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    The post City’s first Black mayor says heavily edited leaked audio part of extortion attempt appeared first on TheGrio.

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