St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson finds herself in hot water after she held a live weekend event on Facebook. Mayor Krewson landed at the intersection of the coronavirus and the Defund the Police movement and it didn’t go well for her.
The debacle began Friday when protesters showed up at city hall to demand that the mayor close the city’s medium-security institution, informally known as the workhouse. Proponents of closing the aging and near-empty facility say it would free up millions of dollars for other purposes. Locals refer to it as the Close the Workhouse movement. This movement began before the death of George Floyd spurred protests and marches in the city. Critics say there is room in the more modern City Justice Center to house the prisoners at the workhouse. Currently, the workhouse is housing 380 people, with a capacity of 1,000.
Mayor Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards stepped out to address the protesters in front of city hall. They marched from the workhouse to city hall only to find the gates locked. The protesters are demanding the release of inmates held under “inhumane” conditions. The protesters used a megaphone to deliver their demand that the city reduces funding for jails, police, and prosecutors.
Later in the day, the mayor held a coronavirus briefing on Facebook Live. She answered questions about the protesters and said that some protesters handed her pieces of paper with suggestions about the city’s budget. That is when things went sideways for Krewson. She stepped away from her podium and came back holding a pile of crumpled papers. These, she said, were the papers with the suggestions from the Defund the Police protesters for the city’s budget.
“They presented some papers to me about how they wanted the budget to be spent,” Krewson said, holding a pile of crumpled papers. “Here’s one that wants $50 million to go to Cure Violence, $75 million to go to Affordable Housing, $60 million to go to Health and Human Services and have zero go to the police.”
Krewson then read the person’s name and the street they lived on, adding the person “wants no police — no money going to police.”
The mayor repeated the names and streets of at least 10 activists on Facebook Live and said most advocated to defund the police and shift that money into social services, according to the River Front Times.
“I agree with all these things, by the way — except we’re not going to take all the money from the police,” she said. “I think we need our police department.”
Talk about a bone-headed move. Not only does she agree that the police should be at least partially defunded – “we’re not going to take all the money from the police” – but she doxxed the protesters. Reading out their names and addresses, whether she realized it at the time or not, was an act of intimidation. Since she is a Democrat who is at least partially sympathetic to the Defund the Police lunatics, she was literally outing her own people. The protests and the coronavirus sure have brought out the strong streak of authoritarianism from those on the far left.
The Facebook Live video has been deleted.
The mayor tried to justify reading names and addresses by saying the suggestions delivered to the mayor are public records. True but there’s a process for releasing public records, which typically calls for a public records request, especially for such personal information.
The ACLU isn’t happy.
Our statement regarding the decision of the mayor of St. Louis to read the names and addresses on Facebook Live of residents she disagrees with. This was intimidation pure and simple. pic.twitter.com/hyIKV42MPF
— ACLU of Missouri (@aclu_mo) June 26, 2020
An online petition has over 32,000 signatures of people calling for Mayor Krewson’s resignation. She’s being called a white supremacist. Wait, I thought only Republicans were white supremacists, except, of course, for former Senator Robert Byrd.
“She is an abysmal leader and complacent in a white supremacist agenda thus holding St. Louis back from progress,” wrote Maxi Glamour, who started the petition on Change.org,. “To alleviate community relations we demand that Mayor Krewson resign from office and a special election be held to replace her. She is unfit for office and St. Louis needs real leadership now!”
On Sunday, protesters marched through a residential area to the home of Mayor Krewson. On the way, they encountered a couple who came out of their house with firearms to defend their property. They are both lawyers.
Video that went viral Sunday evening showed Mark and Patricia McCloskey, reportedly identified as two personal injury lawyers by the River Front Times, held up their firearms and shouted at demonstrators passing their mansion in a private, gated community.
Patricia, seen wearing black pants and a black-and-white striped shirt, at one point crosses the lawn with her pistol, while her husband Mark, dressed in a pink-collared shirt with khakis, stands in the yard. The McCloskeys bought their large home in 1988, according to St. Louis Magazine.
here’s what happens when you march on Portland Place in St. Louis, MO
they’re scared of their own community pic.twitter.com/Ng8qW1Pa6C
— avery (@averyrisch) June 29, 2020
Why wouldn’t they be scared? The protests frequently turn violent and end in the destruction of property. These two were just protecting their own property, their home. Good for them. Granted, the woman looks a little awkward in her handling of the gun but she was doing what she thought she had to do. This is where we are now. Protesters have moved into the residential sections of cities. In this case, they were going to the mayor’s house. Homeowners are going to react as this couple did.
The First Amendment rights of protesters don’t trump the right of people to protect themselves and their property.