ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Mayor Lyda Krewson Tuesday reassured those who continue to protest the Jason Stockley verdict that she is lending a sympathetic ear to their issues.
“I hear you,” she began a press conference in her office as a group of demonstrators gathered right outside City Hall. “I read my Twitter mentions and my Facebook posts, I’ve been reading your emails and texts, listening to your voicemails. I’ve watched and listened to the non-violent protests in the streets.”
Those protests came to her front door, quite literally, on Friday night after the verdict clearing Stockley of murder charges in the 2011 shooting death of motorists Anthony Lamar Smith was finally made public.
Demonstrators located her home and pelted it with rocks and paint, breaking several windows.
But she brushed that aside when asked about it Tuesday, saying “I’m not the story”.
The mayor made it clear that she was disturbed by reports that some police officers had co-opted the protest chant of “Whose streets? OUR streets!” while taking “agitators” into custody over the weekend.
She called that tactic “clear intimidation” and said it’s not conduct that lives up to the standard of behavior expected by city police officers or any employee of the city.
“I want to assure all citizens that complaints of misconduct that have been made are being reviewed by the police department’s Internal Affairs Division as well as the Department of Public Safety,” she said. “Our officers are working long hours under tense and sometimes hostile situations, for that I again thank them. Tense and hostile situations are what they are trained for, and as public servants we are rightly held to the highest professional standards. I expect, as does Chief O’Toole, that the men and women who dutifully serve and protect our city will conduct themselves professionally.”
She said she had cancelled a pair of public Town Hall meetings this week because they would have been badly overcrowded and the issues that would likely have come up “are happening in the streets and in my inbox, as well as on social media, right now”.