Kevin King, the highest ranking official serving the Democratic mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, sought out political activists to interfere with an event by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the city, according to Fox News on Sept. 30.
King, sent messages to former Pinellas County Democratic Party President Susan McGrath, making the request and expanding details on Facebook, which he had intended to keep secret.
“Governor apparently coming to St Pete around noon at Birchwood to cause trouble if you feel like secretly getting a group together,” King proposed to McGrath, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“Could use some ‘Wear a Mask signs,’ posters,” King added.
The posters that protesters should bring illustrate just how opposed Democrats are to DeSantis’s initiative, which seeks to open up activities completely in the state of Florida.
Kriseman referred to the undisciplined activities of his second in command, King, saying he had advised him not to act in that way again. He also avoided the responsibility of the mayor’s office in this case.
For the progressive pastor of the Allendale United Methodist Church, the Reverend Andy Oliver, King’s controversial actions not only went unnoticed but also infuriated him.
“I want to point out a bit of hypocrisy from the administration that wants restaurants on Beach Drive to be off limits to protests unless said protest involves a Republican governor,” Oliver wrote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Oliver also took pictures of King’s requests and sent them to Kriseman, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, and the eight members of the City Council the day after King made the request through the social network.
Oliver also explained what he meant by the hypocrisy of the mayor’s office.
“When I saw that the administration was trying to promote people to get out and protest Gov. DeSantis and less than 24 hours earlier had spoken out against a protest by young people for Black lives, the blatant hypocrisy was disgusting,” Oliver said.
King has a long history of targeting homeless African Americans in the city of St. Petersburg, and faced allegations of sexual assault.
He is accused of polluting the waters used by the black community by dumping billions of gallons of sewage into them. Also for his brutal repression tactics, including the so-called Saturday morning massacres, in which he had homeless people arrested en masse.