HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Hunter Pepper, Decatur’s 19-year-old District 4 city councilman is apologizing after Bama Politics unearthed a post that 16-year-old Pepper made that referenced running over protesters.
“It was me sharing an article from Al.Com. I can’t remember what the article is and I do not remember the exact quote that I have on there. I will tell you if I’m not mistaken, there’s nothing in that post that mentions race whatsoever,” said Pepper in a statement before taking questions from the press.
Councilman Pepper initially had a fuzzy account of the post. The initial story was about protests following the Galleria Mall shooting in Hoover. In the post, Pepper says he needs to go shopping in the area and then says “We gone play a game called red rover red rover you fools gone get ran over!”
Later in his press conference, Pepper seems to remember more about his post.
“I do think the comment that I made was extremely arrogant and ignorant. I think I should not have made that comment,” said Pepper.
On the Facebook post in question, Pepper also responds to a comment saying “I’ve got a brushguard it does better,” appearing to refer once again to running through a group of protesters with his truck.
“I will tell ya again, I don’t remember exactly what the comment said but I will tell you in no shape, form or fashion did I mean any aggressiveness,” said Pepper when News 19 reminded him about the comment above.
The comments were made when Pepper was just 16. News 19 asked Pepper how much growth he’s made over the last few years.
“I believe I’ve made a tremendous amount of growth. I believe number one I’ve gotten taller,” said Pepper. Later, the councilman got more serious. “In that moment of time, I feel that at 16-years-old everybody makes a mistake some point in time. I believe that was my moment in time where I made a mistake. I see my history has come back to bite me.”
As for how Pepper feels about the Black Lives Matter movement, which has grown since his post, Pepper says he supports many movements.
“I believe they should keep fighting. I support them in everything that they are doing. They should keep fighting for what they believe in. Same thing I do on a day-to-day basis. When I got into this position, a lot of folks told me at 18-years-old they don’t think I’m going to be a good elected representative. I told them I believe in fighting for what I believe in,” said Pepper.
Pepper says he understands black people in his district may be upset. He says the people he represents can reach out to him and he’ll respond.
We reached out to all Decatur city councilmen and only District 3 Councilman Carlton Masters responded for this story. Masters stated, “I find it very troubling that Mr. Pepper would advocate for the harming of any human life.”
News 19 also reached out to the Morgan County NAACP who has not responded yet.