ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has cancelled all Town Hall meetings scheduled for this week, five days after the Jason Stockley verdict announcement has brought both peaceful and violent protests to the city’s streets.
The mayor made the announcement in a letter posted to her city webpage and shared on Twitter, titled “St. Louis holds an opportunity to lead the way: My thoughts on the last few days.”
Krewson uses the letter to “address two themes” she has seen: One of “violence, destruction and intimidation,” and the other theme of “action.”
“After it gets dark, things change,” she writes. “I’ve said before that destruction of property and violence toward others will not be tolerated.”
Complaints of police misconduct are being reviewed by the police department’s internal affairs division, she says — “I expect, as does Chief O’Toole, that the men and women who dutifully serve and protect our city will conduct themselves professionally.”
The mayor writes that St. Louis has a legacy of policies that disproportionately impact people along both racial and economic lines.
“This is not an opinion, this is supported by stacks of numbers. This is institutional racism,” she says.
“I understand that I now sit in a seat that is accountable for some of the needed change. I understand that I will face people who do not agree that these changes are a priority. I understand that I will need collaboration and cooperation from other elected officials.”
The scheduled Town Hall meetings were created to allow residents to speak with Krewson and representatives from city departments about “the issues facing St. Louis.”
They were scheduled as follows:
Vashon High School – Tuesday, Sept. 19
Carpenter Branch Library – Thursday, Sept. 21
Carondelet Park Rec Center – Saturday, Sept. 23
“After much consideration, we are postponing our Town Halls for this week because they are happening in the streets and in my inbox and on social media right now. We are listening.
I hear you.” Krewson writes to finish the letter.
The Town Hall meeting scheduled for Wednesday regarding the selection of a new St. Louis police chief is still planned to take place.