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KNAU and Arizona News

Scottsdale City Councilman Apologizes After 'I Can't Breathe' Comment At Anti-Mask Rally

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A Scottsdale City Councilman has apologized after invoking the words of George Floyd during a protest yesterday against Scottsdale's requirement to wear masks in public as the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

Councilman Guy Phillips yesterday used the words 'I can't breathe' to describe his feelings about having to wear a face covering in public. Those were the words uttered by George Floyd, a black man who was killed May 25th in Minneapolis when a white police officer kneeled on his neck. They have been at the center of naitonwide protests against police brutality and systematic racism. 

Councilman Phillips told a Phoenix NBC affiliate staion that his comment was stupid and insensitive and that he had no intention of disrespecting anybody when he made the comment. He has reportedly apologized to George Floyd's family, according to the Arizona Republic.

Phillips came under fire in March after making a post on his Facebook page claiming that COVID-19 stands for "Chinese Originated Viral Infections Disease." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the name is actually an abbreviation, with 'CO' for 'corona,' 'VI' for virus,' and 'D' for disease. 

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