‘It serves no apparent purpose beyond intimidation…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Despite a formal apology, protesters in St. Louis were demanding the resignation of Democrat Mayor Lyda Krewson after she broadcast the names of at least 10 Black Lives Matter activists who wrote to her calling for defunding the city’s police department.
I’d like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall today. This was during one of my Facebook updates as I was answering routine questions. Never did I intend to harm anyone or cause distress. The update is removed and again, I apologize.
— Mayor Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) June 27, 2020
Gathered outside of her home in a private, gated neighborhood this weekend, at least 500 people chanted, “Resign, Lyda! Take the cops with you!”
Krewson published the names during a Facebook Live briefing on Friday but removed the post quickly after facing backlash.
In the video, she was asked about meeting with protesters outside City Hall. In response, Krewson read letters submitted to her by protesters to prove that she is “listening” to their concerns.
Although Krewson deleted the Facebook Live video, she did note that the letters sent to her by activists are considered public records. She clarified that she had not meant to “harm anyone or cause distress.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, however, claimed that Krewson’s actions were an attempt to intimidate protesters.
“It is shocking and misguided for Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, to broadcast the addresses of those who dare to express a different viewpoint on an issue of public concern,” the ACLU said in a statement.
“It serves no apparent purpose beyond intimidation,” the statement continued. “We are stronger when we foster open dialogue. The chilling of debate should bother everyone, no matter whether they agree or disagree with the mayor on this particular issue.”
Krewson’s office made it clear that she will not be stepping down. She “acknowledged he mistake and there was absolutely no malicious intent,” said the mayor’s communications director, Jacob Long.
“She won’t be resigning,” he told CNN.
Krewson was elected in 2017 as St. Louis’s first female mayor, in large part because she pledged to reduce crime and improve poor neighborhoods.
This pledge stemmed from the horrific murder of her husband, Jeff, who was slain in 1995 by a parolee in a carjacking attempt. She and her two young children were in the car’s back seat when James Wade, 21, and an 18-year-old accomplice approached Jeff Krewson and shot him in the neck when he tried to drive away.