The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Editorial: Nelson Showed Billups Arrest was Targeted

In the opinion of this writer, Tuesday night's meeting of the Amarillo City Council showed that Mayor Ginger Nelson's choice to call out two residents during an April meeting was targeted.

Early last month, Amarillo resident Kip Billups was arrested after clapping and refusing to leave the City Council's meeting on Mayor Ginger Nelson's orders. Another resident was also told to leave during the meeting after clapping and complied with Mayor Nelson's orders to leave. The arrest of Billups sparked controversy nationwide and drew criticism from Empower Texans, legal experts, Amarillo residents and state elected officials.

On Tuesday night, several Amarillo residents continued to clap during the City Council's meeting, both during proclamations and during the public comment portion of the meeting. However, when the clapping took place, the clapping was not addressed by Mayor Ginger Nelson.

Nelson's choice not to speak to those clapping on Tuesday showed that her choice to call out Billups several weeks ago was targeted, in this writer's opinion. Nelson's choice not to address the clapping was also interesting, as she went on a media tour immediately after the Billups arrest to defend the clapping ban, as did Councilmember Eddy Sauer.

The City Council has a flawed policy, regarding the clapping ban. The ban needs to be repealed, but Tuesday night shows that Nelson is selectively enforcing the ban, depending on who violates the clapping policy.

In the future, we hope that the City Council will cease its policy of approving and enforcing asinine policies. Even more so, we hope that the City Council will not target political opponents with their ridiculous rules, just because they don't like the viewpoint of the "disruptor."

-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief

Photo by Susan Cooper Bailey

Photo by Susan Cooper Bailey

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