More than 18,000 have signed a petition calling for the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson after she read the names and street addresses of protestors who have requested that the city defund the police department during a Facebook Live briefing.
During the Q&A portion of a Friday afternoon Facebook Live – where she has regularly provided COVID-19 updates since the onset of the pandemic – Krewson addressed a question by someone identified as Rachel.
Rachel’s question, which was read by Krewson spokesperson Jacob Long, inquired about a meeting that occurred between Krewson and protestors who have been demonstrating in front of City Hall.
In the since deleted video, Krewson explains that the protestors requested that she meet with them, so she came out of City Hall to have a conversation with them.
Krewson described the demonstrators’ response during their discussion as “very loud,” and says that “the conversation wasn't really a two-way conversation.” She then stepped away from the cameras to retrieve papers that she said were given to her by demonstrators with suggestions on how the city’s budget should be spent.
Krewson then began reading the suggestions, including the first and last names and what streets people lived on. In some cases, she read exact addresses – even pointing out that one of those who submitted suggestions lived around the corner from her. Of the names she read, many of them suggested a budget of zero dollars be allotted towards the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
According to The Riverfront Times, who first reported the incident, the video remained on Facebook for three hours before it was removed.
In response, activist Maxi Glamour – a frontline presence in the protests that have been ongoing in the region in response to the death of George Floyd – started a petition on Change.org calling for signatures of those demanding Krewson’s resignation. As of 11:55 a.m. on June 27, 2020, the petition had reached 18,000 signatures.
Krewson has since issued an apology. The full statement reads as follows:
"In an effort to be transparent and accessible to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, for more than three months now I have been doing tri-weekly community updates on Facebook. Tonight, I would like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall as I was answering a routine question during one of my updates earlier today. While this is public information, I did not intend to cause distress or harm to anyone. The post has been removed."