Florida Rep. Bob Allen, who was arrested for solicitation in after offering an undercover police officer $20 for the opportunity to perform oral sex, spoke to the North Brevard branch of the NAACP last night and apologized for comments about black men in the park where he was arrested.
Florida Today reports: “In his second appearance before a Brevard County branch of the NAACP during the past 10 days, Allen said in a half-hour speech that he understands ‘you’re guilty until proven innocent’ thanks to incessant media coverage. He said he also understands how those who still fight for civil rights, including members of his audience, might be offended by his words, especially comments he made to police after his July 11 arrest on the misdemeanor charge. According to recordings, Allen spoke of ‘a pretty stocky black guy and there’s other black guys around in the park that — you know. . . I’m about to be a statistic here.’ As he has before, Allen on Tuesday apologized for those words, saying he did not mean them to be racist. He said he was just giving police what they asked for: a description of what happened. ‘That is not me,’ he said of accusations that he is a racist.”
Allen told WFTV that his comments were taken out of context: “I don’t consider that a racist description. The description was of the people outside the facility and inside the facility with me. They described me as an overweight, disheveled white man. I don’t consider that a racist description. The description was of the people outside the facility and inside the facility with me.”
Allen is scheduled to make a court appearance in the next few days.
Representative Accused Of Racism, Meets With NAACP [wftv]
Apologetic Allen disputes allegations of racism [florida today] (video)
Allen Apologies For Comments [cf news 13]