Goochland supervisor deletes account after tweet suggesting violence against protesters: ‘It wasn’t funny’

Posted at 12:14 AM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 01:58:40-04

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va., -- A Goochland County supervisor has deleted his Twitter account and apologized after receiving backlash for a tweet suggesting violence against protesters.

The Tuesday night tweet was posted by Goochland District 2 Supervisor Manuel Alvarez Jr, who also serves as the board's vice chairman.

The tweet read, "With one reload I can take 34 of them, but my guess is that one will be sufficient."

Alvarez told CBS 6 the "stupid, stupid" tweet was in reference to another tweet about two protesters arrested after their group tried to force their way into a congressman's office.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Maryland Rep. Andy Harris’ wrist was bruised as protesters tried to force a door open, according to the lawmaker's office.

"[The tweet] wasn’t funny. It wasn’t really," Alvarez said. "My office is my house. I don’t have an office. So, it's really related to somebody coming into my house and attacking me."

Alvarez said the "34" referred to having a gun with the capacity to hold 17 rounds and then reloading.

"Killing 34 people is never funny and suggesting it is never funny. It’s not who I am," Alvarez explained.

Goochland Democratic Committee Co-Chair Tina Winkler said she received several texts and calls from individuals upset about Alvarez' tweet.

"The way I was reading it and others were reading it - it was advocating gun violence," Winkler stated. "You’re an elected official. You represent everybody and you have an obligation not to write those things on Twitter."

Winkler stated Alvarez called her to apologize for his tweet on Wednesday. She said two weeks ago she called the supervisor about "divisive" comments he wrote about Democrats on Twitter.

"Last night was a watershed moment. You can’t write that kind of thing," Winkler said.

The initial post was deleted on Wednesday after receiving backlash from other Twitter users. Alvarez stated he didn't recall whether he deleted his tweet or if it was taken down by Twitter.

The Republican has since deactivated his Twitter account.

"If they think I should resign I will"

Winkler, speaking personally and not on behalf of the committee, suggested Alvarez should consider stepping down from the board.

"I think it would be appropriate if he resigned," she said. "I would encourage him to rethink staying on the board."

Alvarez stated he would not resign after his tweet.

"I'm not going to resign on my own. I'm going to give my peers on the board the opportunity to think about it," Alvarez explained.

CBS 6 asked the four other Goochland board members whether they support Alvarez resigning after the controversial tweet.

Both District 1 Supervisor Susan F. Lascolette and District 5 Supervisor and Board Chairman Ken Peterson said they did not have enough information to make a decision.

District 3 Supervisor John Lumpkins responded, "Absolutely no. I do not support any effort in or encourage him to resign."

District 4 Supervisor Robert H. Minnick also responded "no" and said it should be up to the District 2 voters to decide whether Alvarez stays on the board.

"One of the worst things that's ever happened to me"

Alvarez's described himself as a "Proud conservative Cuban-American" on his now-deleted Twitter account.

He told CBS 6 after his controversial tweet he's received numerous phone calls threatening violence against him.

"[It's] probably one of the worst things that's happened to me and I was a refugee for six months in a refugee camp," Alvarez said.

The 64-year-old stated he's since apologized to his family, friends, constituents, board members, and Goochland Sheriff James Agnew after writing the tweet.

"I can deal with my own internal issues and pain, but it's harder when I put them on other people," he explained.

Alvarez expected to defend himself during a District 4 and 5 Town Hall at the Hermitage Country Club Wednesday night, but the issue never came up.

"I don't kill anything. I don't hunt. I don't kill anything so it's not anything like me," Alvarez said.

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