© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WKAR News

Constituent Demands Resignation Of Lansing City Council Member After Receiving Harassing Messages

betzLcouncil.jpg
lansing.gov

Updated at 10:28 am ET

A Black Lansing activist is calling for the resignation of a city council member following a series of harassing text messages.

Michael Lynn Jr. has been a vocal critic of Lansing Mayor Andy Schor for what he said is a lack of effort in addressing community and police relations.

Following a Facebook post in which city councilmember Brandon Betz supported the mayor’s address, Lynn publicly questioned Betz. According to Lynn, this sparked a text message interaction in which Betz harassed and disparaged him.

“He can't be trusted, like nothing that he says can be trusted. And that's the only thing we have for accountability when it comes to elected officials is that we can trust what they say they are doing," Lynn said.

Screenshots of the messages show Betz, who is white, using profanity and racially insensitive language.

Lansing City Councilmember Peter Spadafore is denouncing Betz after learning of the hostile interaction between him and Lynn.

“Members of our community should know it is their right to address counsel, criticize the actions of their elected officials and hold us accountable without fear of reprisal nor intimidation,” Spadafore said.

Spadafore said he finds the messages unbecoming and offensive. 

Betz didn’t respond to WKAR’s request for comment, but told the Lansing City Pulse that his language was unprofessional and he only wrote the messages because Lynn threatened him. Lynn denies doing so. 

"It shows again, how he's trying to use his position and says that you have to trust him, because he's a city council member," Lynn said. "It's a felony to to threaten a sitting elected official and its not something I did." 

Lynn said there is no reparative action Betz can take, and he needs to resign from his post. 

News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.