CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - Charlotte City Council Member LaWana Mayfield's Facebook post Monday questioning whether the 9-11 attacks were an act of terrorism has sparked a national backlash and a petition for her to resign.
Within minutes of the news getting out, Mayfield was being called "ridiculous," "a disgrace" and "unfit for public office."
Among those who responded were people who said they survived the attacks.
"Here's a little Freedom of Speech for you," posted Pete Panuccio of New York, who identified himself as a former New York City cop. "I am an eyewitness to this event. I was there. Anytime you feel like debating the finer points, I challenge you to refute my eyewitness testimony. Garbage like this is an insult to all those that died that day, as well as the thousands who have become sick since then. Shame on you and shame on the people that elect irresponsible public officials."
Such comments are being made in reaction to Facebook statements Mayfield posted Monday, noting she is "still waiting for someone to produce pieces of the alleged plane." She then linked to an article on the website Awarenessact.com that stated: "It's Official: European Scientific Journal Concludes 9/11 Was A Controlled Demolition."
On Tuesday night, she abridged the comments, but didn't delete them or apologize: "So...if I delete this all the comments will also be deleted. This was NOT shared to cause controversy yet it has. Freedom of speech allows you to share your thoughts and many have done that below."
Mayfield's additional comments seemed only to worsen the backlash, with some accusing her of using freedom of speech to shield herself from legitimate criticism.
A petition launched on Change.org demanded her resignation: "By giving her imprimatur to this conspiracy theory, Mayfield has brought shame and disgrace upon herself, her district, her city, and her state. It is simply not acceptable for an elected official to use his or her platform to promote such claptrap. Mayfield needs to spare herself, the people of Charlotte, and the people of North Carolina further embarrassment by resigning. "
Mayfield's Facebook page exploded with similar criticism overnight:
"Your misinformed and ignorant post just causes pain," posted Gary Parks on Mayfield's Facebook page. "You should resign as any true politician and person would not have posted this. Do you even remember that day or was it to far north for you to care. I for one will never forget."
"The evidence (and "airplane parts") are readily available," posted Pat Hogan of Carrboro, N.C., on Mayfield's Facebook page. "Your willingness to revisit this issue calls into question not only your fitness for re-election; but your qualifications to hold the office in the first place."
"Slavery in the US was a fantasy as was the holocaust in Germany. You are a moron madam," posted Cindy Vanaman.
"This is not only ridiculous - it is embarrassing that an elected official lacks common sense. Maybe next time, think before you post," posted Chloe Child.