GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips made national news this week when he fired up a group of anti-mask protesters and shouted "I can't breathe."

"We don't think government needs to tell us we need to wear a mask or else," said Phillips.

"My comments at the anti-mask rally that day were in no way meant to be directed toward or connected with George Floyd or any rallying cry with regards to Derek Chauvin’s maniacal assault on Mr. Floyd. No one I know including myself believes that the killing of Mr. Floyd was anything but tragic. My comments were related to difficulty that many have breathing through a neoprene mask in a 110-degree temperature," Phillips said in a statement Friday, but the damage was done. It sparked heated debate on social media.

There were also a number of death threats that ended up being directed at a Gilbert man who has nothing to do with politics. His name is also Guy Phillips.

"People get on those keyboards, they become other people," said Phillips. "They think they can just post whatever they want and it incites people, and they all get riled up. The next thing you know, people get hurt."

The East Valley web designer said that a Gilbert police officer showed up at his front door Thursday to say that threats had been made against him and someone was posting where he lived on Twitter.

"He said, 'I just wanted to let you know that your address was posted online with threats as being the councilman's address.' And he said, 'You should be aware of what's going on, and we'll do some added patrols,'" said Phillips, recalling what happened.

The Gilbert dad wasted no time letting everyone know about the mistaken identity. He even posted on his business web page so customers wouldn't get confused.

Phillips also wants people to know that he doesn't agree with councilman Phillips because he believes everyone should wear a mask to protect the public's health.

"I'm a nice guy," said Phillips. "I am not that Guy Phillips from Scottsdale."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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