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St. Louis County Council members respond to health director's claims of racism

"I was subjected to extreme vile, racist, personal abuse,” said Dr. Faisal Khan.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Members of the St. Louis County Council are responding to allegations of racism from the county's top health official.

St. Louis County Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan said he was faced with physical assaults, taunting and racist slurs at this week's county council meeting.

RELATED: St. Louis County health director says he responded to racist slurs, assault by flipping off person at council meeting

In a statement, Chairwoman Rita Heard Days said she was surprised by the allegations of racism by Khan but she went on to add that there is no place in our community for racial intolerance.

When Khan went to the county council meeting, he says he was appalled by what he saw.

"Almost everybody in attendance was unmasked,” Khan said.

Speaking in front of what he calls a super spreader event, Khan said his words had little meaning.

"I was subjected to extreme vile, racist, personal abuse,” said Dr. Khan.

"The interruptions were out of line,” said St. Louis Co. councilman Tim Fitch. “They should've let each speaker say their piece."

Dr. Khan admitted he let his frustration with the shouting crowd get the best of him on his way out when he flipped someone off.

"Sometimes the composure slips,” Khan said. “Sometimes it hurts just a little too much."

County councilman Tim Fitch defended Dr. Khan’s actions.

"I know Dr. Khan,” said Fitch. “He lost his temper.  All of us have been there at some point in our life when we lost our temper."

However, Fitch was caught off guard when the county health director named him along with former county executive candidate Paul Berry III for inciting the crowd with what he called a ‘dog whistle’ question about his qualifications.

"The only thing I heard were boos,” said Fitch. “I'll call it some jeers. Some disappointment of people not happy with his answers. I never heard anything that was inappropriate."

"My 1st Amendment right to organize and to give public testimony was chilled by these false allegations,” said Paul Berry III.

As the war of words continues, we asked Dr. Khan if he felt like it was distracting people from the problems associated with the pandemic.

"Even though the mandate isn't in place an advisory still is,” Khan said. “Please, we strongly urge you to wear a mask even if you're vaccinated in indoor settings."

Councilman Fitch says he is willing to sit down with Khan to try and discuss what happened.

Chairwoman Days said she has received emails from people apologizing for the actions of members of the crowd and is reviewing multiple videos of what took place.

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