Birmingham mayor gets into bloody brawl with city councilman

Screenshot.
Screenshot.

In a scene reminiscent of a third world country, two Alabama city officials got into a brawl at a city council meeting.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell and councilman Marcus Lundy, the two combatants were both taken to the hospital with minor injuries after the scuffle, AL.com reported.

A source told AL.com that the two men went into a private room to talk about a consultant when the dispute happened.

Council members told AL.com,”the altercation followed a Monday night budget and finance committee meeting to discuss BP settlement funds.”

Mayor Bell tried to leave when Lundy grabbed him around the throat and pulled him back, the source said.

Lundy said the mayor called his employer and tried to have him fired. A charge Bell denied, according to AL.com.

Video of the council meeting caught the sound of someone yelling “whoa, whoa, whoa before a banging commotion was heard.”

“Violence is never the answer regardless of the location,” Police Chief A.C. Roper told AL.com. “It’s extremely concerning, not just for me, but for our entire city so we’ll conduct a thorough investigation and try to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and what precipitated this incident.”

“We are looking at specifically assault charges. There could be some other charges involved,” he said after an arrest warrant was issued for Lundy.

City Council President Johnathan F. Austin told AL.com that Lundy would be pressing charges.

“This right here is ridiculous. It makes no sense,” he said. “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.”

A city spokesperson issued a statement after the altercation.

“The Mayor is currently recovering at a local area hospital. A formal police report has been initiated and will be ready for release in the next hour,” City spokeswoman April Odom said in the statement. “From there, the magistrate will swear out a warrant for the arrest of Councilman Lundy. When approached by Birmingham Police, Councilor Lundy refused to give a statement.”

AL.com reporter Jeremy Gray photographed Lundy’s injuries.

Lundy
Photo credit AL.com.

AL.com’s John Archibald tweeted from the scene.

Carmine Sabia

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