St. Louis County health director says he was assaulted, called racial slurs

Missouri

BERKELEY, Mo. – The St. Louis County acting health department director says he was humiliated, assaulted, and called racist slurs after he spoke to the county council Tuesday night.

The acting director of the department, Dr. Faisal Khan, made the comments in a shocking letter that he sent to the county council chairperson. He admitted he raised his middle finger to someone who he says attacked him outside the council chambers. 

Khan spoke Tuesday night before the county council voted to overturn the mask mandate. 

Khan said while he was speaking, he heard audience members mocking his accent. Khan is from Pakistan, and a U.S. citizen.

He said Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Mark McCloskey and Paul Berry III, a former county executive candidate, were sitting right behind him and constantly berated him, and tried to distract him from his presentation. 

Local democratic political consultant, Jane Dueker, said she was sitting about four rows behind Dr. Khan.

“I did not hear any racial remarks whatsoever,” she said.

“I didn’t even know Mark McCloskey was there until the next day. People in the front row were being very careful when people would start screaming out. The people in the front row were turning around saying be quiet, keep the meeting at an appropriate level.”

Dr. Khan said he faced racial slurs and was physically bumped after he exited the council chambers.

“I became surrounded by the crowd in close quarters where members of the crowd yelled at me, calling me (obscene names),” he said in a letter.  

“After being physically assaulted, called racist slurs, and surrounded by an angry mob, I expressed my displeasure by using my middle finger toward an individual who had physically threatened me and called me racist slurs.” 

Dr. Khan wrote the letter to ask council chair Rita Heard Days to investigate his claims.  

She has said she wants to look into the matter and review video surveillance footage from outside the council chambers to determine what happens next. 

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