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Missouri couple point guns at peaceful protesters calling for St. Louis mayor to resign

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/29/couple-point-guns-protesters-calling-st-louis-mayor-resign/3277310001/

A white man and woman pointed guns at protesters marching through St. Louis and calling for Mayor Lyda Krewson to resign on Sunday night.

Video from the protest circulating on social media shows the man pointing a semi-automatic rifle and the woman pointing a pistol at the crowd walking past their home in the upscale Central West End neighborhood of the Missouri city. 

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said it responded to a “call for help” from a 63-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The pair said they went to investigate a loud commotion coming from the street and saw a group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, according to police.

The man and woman said they told the group to leave and the group “began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims,” according to police.

“When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police,” the incident summary said.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

The demonstration came after Krewson read the names and addresses of people who wrote letters to her calling to defund the police during a Friday afternoon Facebook live video. Although the names and letters are considered public records, Krewson’s actions received heavy backlash.

Armed homeowners standing in front their house along Portland Place confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house Sunday, June 28, 2020.

The ACLU of Missouri released a statement condemning the mayor’s actions.

“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,” the statement said. “It serves no apparent purpose beyond intimidation.”

The mayor apologized on Twitter Friday and said the video had been removed.

“I’d like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall today,” Krewson tweeted. “Never did I intend to harm anyone or cause distress.”

Despite the demonstrations and an online petition calling for Krewson’s resignation with more than 44,000 signatures, a spokesperson for Krewson told CNN she will not be stepping down.

“Mayor has apologized, acknowledged the mistake and that there was absolutely no malicious intent, and took down the video,” the mayor’s communications director, Jacob Long, told the outlet. “She won’t be resigning.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

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