Birmingham Mayor William Bell and City Councilman Marcus Lundy said Thursday their raucous fight during a City Council meeting this week was water under the bridge.
A day after Bell dropped pending criminal charges against Lundy for third-degree assault, the two men held a press conference to demonstrate their forgiveness and express their commitment to moving forward with the city’s agenda.
“I stand here today to apologize to the public, to recommit myself to lifting up this city and ask for the prayers and the hard work of everyone to make this city great,” Bell told reporters.
The city leaders came to blows Tuesday, when witnesses said Lundy tackled Bell and put him in a choke hold, leaving the mayor with a swollen knee and sore neck. Lundy sustained lacerations to the back of his leg.
The two sounded conciliatory Thursday, saying they were sorry the fight may have tarnished the city’s reputation and that the pressing business of revitalizing the city after years of decline took precedence over settling personal scores.
“We’re family and we’re gonna start acting like family,” Lundy said.
The fight – dubbed on social media the “Brawl at City Hall” – garnered national headlines and attention from the public worldwide.
Sources say the immediate cause of the fight was the city’s revocation of Lundy’s use of a city-owned vehicle. Other reports say Bell recently phoned the councilman’s employer and requested his dismissal, a charge the mayor denies.