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Black activists critical of Greitens comments

Gov. Eric Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Black activists in St. Louis say Gov. Eric Greitens’ criticism of the city’s circuit attorney following his felony indictment had racial undertones.

About 100 people, most of them African-American, gathered for a protest Monday outside a St. Louis courthouse to show their support for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who is black.

Gardner, a Democrat, launched an investigation of the Republican governor in January after he admitted to an extramarital affair in 2015, before he was governor. A grand jury on Thursday indicted Greitens on one count of invasion of privacy, alleging he took a compromising photo of the woman without her consent.

Greitens says he committed no crime and in a statement blamed Gardner, calling her a “reckless liberal prosecutor.”

The Rev. Darryl Gray, one of the leaders of the St. Louis protest, called the governor’s response “character assassination” and says it is typical of the way blacks in leadership positions are often treated.

Messages seeking a response from Greitens were not immediately returned.