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Heated exchange leads to early adjournment at council meeting

The Selma City Council meeting ended sooner than expected Tuesday night after a heated exchange between Mayor Darrio Melton and Councilman Sam Randolph.

After nearly an hour-long discussion on leasing five new trash trucks for the city, the meeting got so out of hand Council President Corey Bowie called for a recess and eventually called for an early adjournment.

The argument happened after the council voted 5-4 to lease the trucks. Randolph asked the mayor to elaborate about a statement he made before the vote was taken about council members committing crimes.

“Mayor, you made a statement that council people are up here breaking laws. Can you elaborate on that? … You made a statement. Be a man and talk about it,” Randolph said to Melton.

Melton replied, “Be a man and take care of your family.”

“I take care of my family. … You take care of your family, punk,” Randolph said back to Melton.

Bowie banged his gavel repeatedly in an attempt to gain control of the meeting, but the arguing escalated. It is unclear what else either man said due the continuous banging of the gavel.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier interjected and told Randolph he was being disorderly.

“I ain’t talking to you,” Randolph shouted.

Bowie then called for a five-minute recess. After the recess, Bowie called for an adjournment. There were still several items left on the agenda for the meeting that did not get addressed.

“What you witnessed [Tuesday] has been going on since I was elected,” Melton said Wednesday. “You have council members who have no decorum. You have a council that is out of control.”

The exchange between Melton and Randolph has garnered attention on social media from many Selma citizens. Some of them have called the argument “sad,” and some even called it “quite the show.”

Oniska Blevins contributed to this report.