ST. LOUIS (KMOV/AP) --  A couple pointed guns at protesters in St. Louis as the group marched toward the mayor's home to demand her resignation.

Images and videos posted to social media showed the armed couple standing outside of their large home Sunday evening in the upscale Central West End neighborhood of the Missouri city.

In the video, the unidentified couple shouted at protesters, while people in the march moved the crowd forward, urging participants to ignore them.

The homeowner reached out to KMOV-TV Monday morning saying he was having dinner with his family outside of his home when the crowd smashed through wrought iron gates marked with "No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs.

"A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives," he said.

The couple told the crowd they were trespassing on a private street and needed to leave. Shortly after, the couple grabbed their guns after they allegedly noticed armed protesters in the crowd, shouting threats.

"This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob."

The group of protesters were heading toward Mayor Lyda Krewson's home, chanting, “Resign Lyda, take the cops with you,” news outlets reported.

Resignation demands come after a Friday Facebook live briefing, where Krewson read the names and addresses of several residents who wrote letters to the mayor suggesting she defund the police department.

The video was removed from Facebook and Krewson apologized Friday, stating she didn't "intend to cause distress."

The names and letters are considered public records. For example, comments submitted to the St. Louis County Council must include names and addresses and all the information is read aloud.

Still, Krewson's actions received heavy backlash.

St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green said in a tweet "So not cool to doxx my constituents who support #DefundThePolice on your FB live. It's a move designed to silence dissent, and it's dangerous"

The ACLU of Missouri released a statement saying what Krewson did was "shocking and misguided," saying reading the information aloud "serves no apparent purpose beyond intimidation."

Protesters painted RESIGN on the street in front of Krewson's house

An online petition demanding Krewson’s resignation has gained more than 40,000 signatures. 

In a tweet on Friday, the mayor apologized and said she didn't mean to hurt anyone.

"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," Krewson said in a statement. "The post has been removed and again, I sincerely apologize."

St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones also tweeted saying "The Mayor's actions not only endanger her citizens, it is also reckless," echoing calls for Krewson's resignation.

Flyers on cars in Mayor Lyda Krewson neighborhood.

Flyers on cars in Mayor Lyda Krewson's neighborhood in the Central West End.

Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who is challenging Krewson in the Democratic primary in the 2021 mayoral election, stopped short of calling for Krewson’s resignation.

"It's a tough time to be a mayor but it's our job as elected officials to rise to the challenge," Spencer said.

News 4 reached out to the mayor for comments, but a spokesperson said the mayor is not interested in talking, saying "she’s apologized, acknowledges she made a mistake and has absolutely no intention of resigning."

If Krewson resigns, Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen, would assume the role. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

 

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