© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sylva Town Meeting Rescheduled Due To Racist 'Zoom Bombers'

Lilly Knoepp
Blue Ridge Public Radio
The county's Confederate monument stands in front of the Old Jackson County Couthouse which is now the public library complex.

The Town of Sylva board of commissioners met this morning - in part to discuss the removal of the county’s Confederate monument. However the meeting was cut short after being “zoom bombed.”


Shortly after the start of the meeting, some participants started yelling the N-word, other racial slurs and saying they “owned Black slaves.” Other derogatory language was written in the chat box directed at community members and local journalists. 


None of the comments are suitable for the radio. 


The meeting was quickly adjourned.


Here’s Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossman at a reconvenined meeting about 30 minutes later:


“All of our meetings are open to the public. We will not and do not tolerate abusive behavior,” says Sossman.  “I apologize to everyone who was on the meeting to conduct town business.”


At that meeting, commissioners rescheduled the discussion for Monday at 5:30 p.m. on June 27. The meeting will take place via Zoom.

The Sylva Police department have contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to assist in a criminal investigation. The goal of the investigation is to identify the persons responsible for this and apply all applicable criminal charges.

If anyone has any information about the persons responsible for this, please call the Sylva Police Department or Jackson County Communications Center at 828-586-1911.


Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.