Kriier's comments called "rude and disrespectful"
Taft City Councilman Orchel Krier came under fire at Tuesday night's council meeting for comments he made on social media following the recent death of a young skateboarder in a traffic collision.
But he also had defenders.
The controversy erupted after the skateboarder was killed in a collision involving a truck at Fourth and Kern on July 23. Police said the victim was northbound on Fourth Street, failed to stop at the posted stop sign and road into the path of a truck that had stopped and was proceeding eastbound.
Krier, in a comment on the Taft Midway Driller's Facebook page link to the coverage of the tragedy, said the victim, Josh taylor, was a "free range citizen riding his skateboard at a high rate of speed...this is not the first time the victim has done this, I too have when experienced when this particular skateboarder has ran this stop sign fortunately it was in daylight and saw him in time, sorry to have to say this his time was up..."
Mary Robbins, who said Taylor was not related but "just like real family to us," delivered an emotional attack on Krier for his comments.
She called them "rude and disrespectful" and painful for taylor's friends and family.
"I want to ask you what makes you think you should be in Taft and on the City Council," Robbins said. "You do not represent Taft."
Several times asked Krier for a response.
Krier remained silent and didn't address the issue, a few minutes later during the Council statements period.
(Krier's post was removed and he said he apologized several times on Facebook) in the day after he made the comment.
"I hope that its one of your family members that gets killed one day and you see how it feels,"
Another speaker followed and defended Krier's comment.
"People took it out of context," Paul Fedewa said. "He said something that was taken out of context. A lot of other people in Taft are saying the same thing too."
Fedewa said Taylor hit the side of his truck when he was riding the skateboard unsafely and that "three or four people had the same experience."
Fedewa said "unsafe bike riding, skateboarding and even pedestrians are a problem."
"It's not just Josh. It's other kids too," he said.
A few minutes later, Chief of Police Damon McMinn said thought Krier's comments were misconstrued.
"I don't believe anything he said was meant the way people are taking it," the Chief said.