Watch video of the exchange in the video player above.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Two Savannah City Council members engaged in a heated exchange outside of council chambers after a meeting on Sept. 8. The argument between District 6 Alderman Kurtis Purtee and Alderwoman Post 1, At Large Kesha Gibson-Carter, was recorded on a body camera worn by a Savannah Police officer who witnessed it.
In the video, Gibson-Carter can be heard saying “He called me a ghetto b****” and she follows up by holding up her cell phone and saying, ‘Let’s go live.’ In the video, Purtee can be seen walking off.
Purtee admitted to calling Gibson-Carter a “ghetto b****” and said what led up to the exchange.
“All throughout that city council meeting, she kept looking over and saying some ridiculous stuff. You know, sometimes the mic’s pick it up, sometimes they don’t, but every time I would go to talk or after I would get done talking she would make little comments. She called me a bitch a couple of times, I let it go. It happens almost every council meeting. I don’t say anything, usually I will talk to the mayor about it. It’s just been repetitive bullying type behavior.”
He continued, “Then she called me a child predator and pedophile. To which I responded to her with the term “ghetto bitch” . I certainly didn’t mean for it to come off as a racial thing. It just got to the point where I’m tired of the bullying behavior from her every council meeting. It’s outside of council meetings. When we’re at public events…”
Gibson-Carter said in a partial statement to WSAV, “I decided to let it go being tired of the drama on council,” Gibson-Carter said in a statement to WSAV regarding the July exchange.
She continued, “Knowing he would likely do it again was a concern. That concern manifested when he called me a Ghetto B. The use of the term “Ghetto” squarely renders the encounter racist. And as a female in leadership. I am not letting this go.”
This is not the first contentious exchange between council members that played out in public. After a vote on a liquor license, in mid-July, Purtee told Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter to shut up.
In a July interview with News 3, Gibson-Carter responded, saying, “I ascribe to the notion that the lioness does not consider the thoughts of the gazelle.”
Alderman Purtee told News 3, “While saying the word pedophile yesterday, she looked at me which was offensive. Why? Because I’m gay? Because my partner is younger than me? Her actions are completely inappropriate and I had enough.”