Man who charged at mayor described as community activist, once ran for state office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The man who stormed the stage during Kansas City Mayor Sly James' State of the City address is a community activist who once ran for state office.

Tuesday morning, James' speech came to a halt when a man now identified as Derron Black ran up on stage, threw down a flag, grabbed the microphone and delivered a quick but angry rant.

"This man has just got done talking through about exactly what the (expletive) he ain't (expletive) did!" Black yelled.

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Police officers quickly dragged Black offstage at the Gem Theater as he struggled and continued to curse.

Records from the Kansas City Election Board show Black ran for a seat in Missouri House District 23 last year. Black lost in the primary, receiving less than 14 percent of the vote.

In Black's east side neighborhood, Luther Floral owner Bonnie Luther Hays described him as a neighborhood activist trying to turn around a blighted area.

"He's come in here. He's seemed very helpful, wanting to help the neighborhood," Luther Hays said. "I had an impression that he was a clean cut, nice fellow."

She was shocked to learn Black was the man behind the on-stage outburst.

James reacted calmly as Black was taken away.

"It's unfortunate that we have people who feel that somehow we've left them behind. I don't blame him for whatever feelings he wanted to express. I do have a small problem with the method," James said.

Black is expected to be formally charged Wednesday for assaulting a police officer. He is currently in jail.

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