Elliott Davis reflects on the Mayor’s chastising

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ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Police respond to demonstrators who were protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on September 17, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the third day of protests in the city following the acquittal of Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder last year following the 2011 on-duty shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS, MO — FOX 2 reporter and anchor Elliott Davis covered the Stockley protest at the Galleria Mall Wednesday night. He posted a commentary to his Facebook page after Mayor Lyda Krewson publicly scolded interim St. Louis Police Lawrence O’Toole.

Read the entire commentary here:

“I wasn’t going to say anything about this, but decided it is a relevant moment. That was Mayor Lyda Krewson’s decision to upbraid her own police chief right in the midst of the crisis.

Mayor Krewson called comments that the city’s interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole made after the third night of protesting inflammatory. This comes after windows were smashed on the third night of protesting downtown Sunday night. 100 people were arrested.

Chief O’Toole made the statement that the police “owned tonight” adding “We’re in control. This is our city. And we’re going to protect it”

Mayor Krewson apparently took offense to that. By berating the Chief publicly Krewson may have gained a few brownie points with protestors, but undoubtedly lost some steam with police officers that O’Toole was laboring to support.

At times in the crisis, some of his officers have been sent to the hospital because of bricks and water bottles hurled at them. They’ve had to endure the destruction of property in both the Central West End and then Downtown. We certainly don’t know what kind of rules of engagement O’Toole had from Krewson who shows sympathy to protestors.

Her tone is a far cry from St Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and from Governor Eric Greitens. I talked to Stenger Wednesday night. Stenger said protestors have a right to express their first amendment rights but added he wouldn’t accept criminal behavior or vandalism, warning Police would respond quickly and decisively with his blessing. That’s the same message being echoed by Governor Eric Greitens whose making it a point to support Law Enforcement publicly.

Both Stenger and Greitens are giving a passing acknowledgement of protestors right to protest, but are making it clear that they are on the side of law enforcement.

That’s the opposite of the level of support, or lack there of, that poor interim Chief O’Toole is getting. Even though the Mayor insists she still supports him after slamming him publicly.

No doubt, the officers out on the streets were encouraged by the Chief’s remarks only to have him slapped down by the Mayor. In an interesting side note many were anxious to go where there is apparently strong Law Enforcement backing.

St. Louis County asked for volunteers from the city police to help back up their forces Wednesday night. Apparently, so many city officers volunteered that the city police department had to stop accepting them because so many wanted to sign up.

This is going to prove interesting as this all plays out. Right now it seems Mayor Krewson is setting up tension with her own Police Department. While it may curry favor with protestors, it’s surely not going down well with police.

Keep in mind last time Mayor Krewson gave protestors a pat on the back after a day of demonstrations they targeted her house breaking window and dousing it with paint. For their part City Officers have to be wondering just how much genuine backing do they have from City Hall as their labor out of the streets contending day in and day out with the current crisis.”

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