The Mayor of St. Louis faces a backlash for reading aloud during a public meeting the full names and addresses of protesters calling on the city to remove the police department.
Mayor Lyda Krewson was answering questions during a Facebook Live briefing on Friday afternoon, which she held regularly during the coronavirus pandemic, when asked about a meeting she had with protesters outside City Hall earlier that day.
The mayor replied that the conversation “was not really a two-way conversation … because there was a very strong response from the protesters,” reported KSDK, an NBC affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri.
But protesters had given him written sketches of his proposals on how the city could better allocate the money now going to the police department, and Krewson turned away from the camera to take the papers from his desk as the briefing was still broadcast. Live.
The mayor began reading the suggestions aloud, including giving the writers’ first and last names, as well as the streets where they live. In some cases, he gave the exact addresses of the people, KSDK reported. Many of the proposals suggested that the city should budget zero dollars for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
During the Facebook Live video, which has since been removed, Krewson said multiple times that he is against firing the police, according to KSDK.
Their reading aloud of the names and addresses of the protesters sparked a wave of criticism, with some calling their actions “shocking” or comparing them to doxxing, which is the online transmission of private or identifying information about an individual or organization. .
St. Louis Councilwoman Megan Ellyia Green criticized Krewson and tweeted, “It is not good to upset my constituents who support #DefundThePolice on their live FB today. It is a movement designed to silence dissent, and it is dangerous.”
“No leader should resort to intimidation of the residents they were chosen to represent. Period,” Cara Spencer, another St. Louis councilor, tweeted.
The ACLU of Missouri also condemned Krewson’s actions.
“It is surprising and wrong for Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis to spread the addresses of those who dare to express a different point of view on a matter of public interest. It has no apparent purpose beyond intimidation, “Sara Baker, ACLU of the Missouri director of policy, said in a statement.” The cooling of the debate should upset everyone, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the mayor on this particular issue. “
As of Saturday, at least 15,000 people had signed a Change.org petition calling for Krewson’s resignation, saying it “directly endangered the lives of protesters by revealing their names and addresses.”
On Friday night, Krewson apologized in a statement “for identifying the people who presented letters to me at City Hall when I answered a routine question during one of my updates today.”
“While this is public information, it was not intended to cause distress or harm to anyone. The publication has been removed,” the statement said.
For some, like Green, an apology is not enough.
“It is not about intention. It is about impact. The apology is not responsible for the actions and is not committed to doing something different in the future. @LydaKrewson put our residents at risk and needs to resign,” Green tweeted in response to the mayor’s statement.