‘It was surreal’: Savannah man questioned by Tybee Island police for allegedly cursing

Local News

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man says he was confronted by Tybee Island police over the weekend for allegedly cursing on the beach.

Dr. Jamal Toure, a Savannah area historian and activist, traveled to the beach on Saturday to record a video on social media. The video, he said, is part of a fellow activist’s effort to highlight untold stories of people of color on the island.

In the video, Toure encourages people to post videos and share good as well as bad experiences they have had on the island.

Two minutes into the video, a Tybee Police officer confronts Toure, asking him what he’s doing.

“It was like out of a dark comedy,” said Toure. “I now have a real, live, on-time moment about an experience on Tybee.”

Toure says the conversation with the officer was calm and the situation did not escalate after he explained to her what he was doing and that he was not using profanity on the beach.

He believes a woman on the beach had called the police and asked them to confront him.

Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions says she called Toure after learning about the incident and apologized.

“It was one of those situations where you can’t control people and you can’t control their behaviors,” said Sessions.

The mayor said that in her discussion with Toure, they agreed they wanted to take this opportunity to turn a “surreal experience” into a learning opportunity for others.

“At the end of the day, conversations and discussions about any type of issue, as long as it’s done in a friendly, meaningful manner, always has a better ending,” said Sessions.

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