ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Pi Pizzeria owner Chris Sommers says he was targeted by riot police Friday, outside his Central West End restaurant, and later called police “dimwits” in a Tweet. Now, he says he’s being targeted by Blue Lives Matter supporters for speaking up against police.
Sommers was on the Charlie Brennan Show, Wednesday morning, and restated that he believes police officers’ actions in St. Louis Friday night were “dimwitted.” He says he, his family and his employees have been threatened because people assume that he now hates police.
He says his local restaurants are being bombarded with angry phone calls, threats to break windows, $600 fake orders, and a slew of negative yelp and google reviews that he calls “bold-face” lies. Sommers was at his Central West End store on Friday night, when protestors marched in the streets, the same night St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home in the Central West End was vandalized.
Sommers says that night a line of riot police marched up the street and sidewalk that were empty, except for patrons at his restaurant. Sommers says when he began taking video and yelling at officers to leave, they fired pepper bullets and him and then tear gassed his block. He says he shared those videos and KMOX has asked to see those videos, but have not yet heard a response from Sommers. He also has deleted his Twitter.
On Monday morning Sommers tweeted a reply to another tweet that alleged police officers were chanting “Whose streets, our streets,” mimicking similar chants by protesters. Sommers’ replay said “And we pay a pension for these dimwits.”
Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police website that began after the Ferguson riots in 2014, posted about his tweet and took a screenshot of it. The post asked for its supporters to “get the word out that if you bash the police, you won’t be getting our business.”
The St. Louis County Police Association also shared the story on Facebook, but has since deleted it. The post included the three phone numbers for the Pi Pizzeria locations in downtown St. Louis, Delmar and the Central West End, and asked its followers to fill the pizza shop’s phone lines.
Sommers says people are now threatening him, his family and his employees.
“Those who already made their judgements around me have never heard my side of the story,” Sommers says. “They just assume that I hate police officers. And I think my actions for the last 10 years have spoken louder than any tweet.
“That’s the part that really stings, I’ve been so generous with these folks and now they threaten me.”