ST. LOUIS (WAND) - The Mayor of St. Louis is facing backlash on social media after she read the names and street addresses of protesters calling on the city to defund the police department.
It all started during the question-and-answer portion of Mayor Lyda Krewson's Facebook Live Friday afternoon. A viewer wrote in to ask the mayor about the meeting she held with demonstrators outside of City Hall earlier in the day.
According to NBC affiliate KSDK, in the now-deleted Facebook video, Mayor Krewson said the conversation “wasn’t really a two-way conversation… because there was a very loud response from the demonstrators.”
She said the group gave her papers on how they though the city's budget should be spent. That's when she started reading some of the suggestions. She gave first and last names and what streets people lived on, in some cases even exact addresses, along with how they want the budget to be spent. Many suggested a budget of $0 for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
The mayor has said several times that she is against removing funding from the St. Louis police department.
Friday night, Mayor Krewson issued a statement apologizing for her actions. The full statement is below:
"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."
The apology came after two St. Louis Board of Aldermen members and commenters online criticized the mayor for what many people called "doxxing" the protesters.
"Hey @LydaKrewson. So not cool to doxx my constituents who support #DefundThePolice on your FB live today. It’s a move designed to silence dissent, and it’s dangerous. #DoBetter," wrote Alderwoman Megan Green who represents Ward 15 in south city.
"No leader should resort to intimidation of the residents they were elected to represent. Period." tweeted Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who represents Ward 20 in south city.
The ACLU of Missouri issued the following statement Friday evening regarding Mayor Krewson’s reading of names and addresses:
“Today adds to the list of things we never thought we would have to say. To be clear, it is shocking and misguided for Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, to broadcast the addresses of those who dare to express a different viewpoint on an issue of public concern. It serves no apparent purpose beyond intimidation. We are stronger when we foster open dialogue. The chilling of debate should bother everyone, no matter whether they agree or disagree with the mayor on this particular issue.” – Sara Baker, Policy Director ACLU of Missouri.
Some people online are even calling for her to resign, including thousands of people who have already signed a Change.org petition.