Quinton Lucas, the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, said Monday he was sent text messages in which he was called a “racial slur” and received a “subtle death threat” after he announced new rules for face coverings in the city. Lucas, who is Black, shared a screenshot of the messages on Twitter, writing in one tweet, “y’all… let’s do better.”
“You are such a piece of s*** n*****!” one message in the screenshotted image said. “You walked with RIOTERS not wearing a mask idiot,” another said.
“You should swing from a tree, I’m not threatening it, but would love to see it,” another said.
The messages all appear to be sent from the same number. Lucas did not reveal the name of the individual or individuals who allegedly sent the messages.
The mayor also addressed what he described as “fake photos” of him that he said have been circulating. He tweeted two side-by-side images of he and another man holding up t-shirts. In one photo, the writing on the shirts appear to be slogans referencing a local radio station. In the other, the shirt Lucas is holding reads “F*** the police,” and the other man’s says “Black Lives Matter.”
“Social media and photo shop [sic] are always fascinating,” Lucas wrote. “To the many texting me aghast of fake photos circulating, I recommend you not believe everything a muckraker sends your way… and use some judgment.”
“Odd to have to disprove something so patently ridiculous and nonsensical (who takes a smiling F the police photo at a rock station?), but alas, that’s 2020,” he added.
Lucas spoke out against the comments while talking to reporters Monday. “If we’re talking about things whether it be social media comments, or violent crime, or any of these other things, my idea is let’s just go back to having respect,” he said, according to CBS affiliate KCTV. “Let’s go back to having respect for people, for others, for our differences. Understanding that everybody’s just trying to do their best each day.”
KCTV also reported the threats were passed along to the city’s police department.
On Friday, Lucas announced people would be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces where six feet of separation was not feasible. The order went into effect on Monday and is set to expire on July 12, according to the city’s website. But the city noted Lucas will review and update the order “as needed,” prior to its expiration.