But like the peaceful crowd of about 500 walking along a private, closed street, a white couple coming out of a marble mansion had something else in mind.
At around 6 p.m. Sunday, a barefoot man, dressed in a pink collar shirt, came out of the five-story house, carrying a semi-automatic rifle when he appeared to be threatening the group. A few meters away, a woman pointed a pistol at the crowd, her finger directly on the trigger.
The Washington Post was unable to independently confirm the couple’s identity as early as Monday morning, when a video of the scene on social media has been viewed almost 9 million times. The video was so widely shared on social media that President Trump retweeted the video without explanation on Monday morning.
In a region that has long in the spotlight For tensions over the police and racial inequality, the interaction seemed to capture the divisions that spread across the country in 2020.
It is unknown whether the owners of the mansion were the couple captured in the video of the protests, and the Post’s attempts to contact them late Sunday evening failed. Neither Krewson nor the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department immediately responded to requests for comment.
For weeks, massive crowds in St. Louis – like those in cities across the United States – gathered against police brutality and racial injustice after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
Several protesters personally delivered letters to Krewson during a demonstration last week, asking him to close the city gates. Medium security institution, a 1,100-bed prison known as a “workhouse,” and shattered city funding for the St. Louis police. On Friday, during a live question and answer session on Facebook, she turned to a crumpled pile of these letters and started reading them one by one.
“Here is one that wants $ 50 million to be used to combat violence, $ 75 million to affordable housing, $ 60 million to health and social services and zero to the police,” said it stated in the deleted video. according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
For each letter calling for the police’s withdrawal, Krewson also named the writer and the person’s street or home address – even though some viewers in the comments had begged him to stop.
Public identification, or “doxing,” of activists is not illegal, but such an act has a particularly heavy legacy in the St. Louis area: since Michael Brown was shot dead by police in Ferguson, in the Missouri, six people linked to protests that followed in 2014 were found dead – some of them in a violent and mysterious way, reported the Associated Press.
An alder from Saint-Louis said the mayor had used “intimidation of residents [she was] elected to represent. ” Another called it is “an initiative designed to silence dissent”. The following day, in Saint-Louis, a rally involving the far right Proud Boys, a group with a story of aggression by left-wing protesters.
Although emails or letters to elected officials are considered public documents in Missouri, according to the Post-Dispatch, these documents and any names or addresses appearing on them are generally made public only after a request for documents.
A few hours later, Krewson said she was sorry for the transgression and removed the video from the Internet, writing“I never intended to harm anyone or cause distress.”
Sunday evening, they brought their campaign to the mayor’s home, painting the word “resign” in the street opposite.
“As a leader, you don’t do things like that,” state representative Rasheen Aldridge (D) told the crowd through a megaphone, according to the Post-Dispatch. “It’s only fair that we visit her at her home.”
As they headed for a gathering at Krewson’s house on Lake Avenue, they passed by 1 Portland Place, a gargantuan white marble house that St. Louis magazine said had once been called “St. Louis’ most dazzling mansion.
The owners of the “Midwestern palazzo” on a private street had undergone decades of renovation to bring the house back to its original glory. As the magazine described in 2018, they spent years obsessed with a 45-foot-tall limestone dome, a house organ so large that its pipes led to the basement, and chandeliers fitted with Tiffany shades, l ‘one of them being a “perfect copy” of a hanging lamp at the Cathedral of Pisa.
However, the couple barefoot in front of the perfectly manicured green lawns of the house did not need to do much to defend the manor. Moments after taking out their weapons, a black man in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” shirt ordered the crowd to continue moving.
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” he shouted.