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Kansas City Mayor Lucas calls for 'lowering temperature' as fallout from Harrison Butker speech continues

Mayor Lucas Letters 1920x1080.jpg
Posted at 3:05 PM, May 17, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The fallout of a since-deleted social media post Wednesday night on the official Kansas City, Missouri, account continued Friday.

The post, which referenced reaction to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech last weekend at Benedictine College, was taken down after nearly 30 minutes, with apologies posted shortly after on the city’s official account as well as by Mayor Quinton Lucas.

LINK | Kansas City mayor apologies for social media post made about Chiefs K Harrison Butker on city account

The entire incident led to officials and elected leaders to call for more information about the city’s social media practices. The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council Thursday introduced a resolution calling on City Manager Brian Platt to update the council on the city’s social media policies within 30 days.

Also on Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey called on the city to turn over documents related to the incident.

As Bailey continued his push Friday, Mayor Lucas called on Bailey to stand down, pointing to harassment received by city employees in association for the post.

"I respect your right to criticize the City, but your inflammatory rhetoric has gone beyond rational disagreements and has resulted in members of your online following directing vitriol, death threats and harassment at specific Kansas City Black and female employees who had no involvement in the objectionable tweet," Lucas said.

Lucas said the harassment has included racial slurs directed at Black female employees, disclosure of addresses and photographs of women working in the city’s communications department and sexist slurs. Lucas says employees have received messages describing them as "enemies of the people."

“I am requesting that you immediately cease this dangerous practice and make a public statement condemning the harassment and threats that City employees have received and are receiving,” Lucas said on a letter to Bailey. “If you object to posting the mere city in which a public figure lives, then you should condemn even more strongly the posting of a municipal employee’s name, photo and home address alongside racist and genuine threats of violence.

LINK | Read the Mayor’s letter to AG Bailey

In a letter to city employees, Lucas said the city is working with the Kansas City Police Department and the FBI regarding the threats made toward city staff.

“Online commenters have posted photos of our employees, listed their addresses, used racial and sexist slurs to describe them and have threatened physical violence,” Lucas said in the letter to employees. “The behavior is intolerable and must be called out and addressed both by city leadership and law enforcement.”

LINK | Read the Mayor’s letter to city employees

Regarding the now-deleted post, Lucas told employees that he has directed city leaders to “ensure appropriate actions be taken to prevent such incidents from reoccurring in the future.”

Watch Benedictine College students react to Butker’s speech in the video player below.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's commencement speech draws mixed reactions