Close call for mayor during his State of City speech
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man was hauled away in a police van Tuesday morning after he disrupted Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ State of the City speech when he ran up to the podium and yelled obscenities to the audience.
A few minutes into the mayor’s speech at the Gem Theater in the 18th and Vine Jazz District Tuesday morning, the man ran up and said, “He talking about exactly what the f–k he ain’t go damned never did!”
The mayor just looked at him, appearing dumbfounded, until security grabbed the man and pulled him away in a scuffle that knocked over at least one of the flag poles behind the mayor. The man could be heard yelling minutes later.
The mayor then proceeded with his speech, simply saying it was “unfortunate.” The mayor said he appreciated the man’s sentiments, but not his method.
Police would not confirm the man’s identity but multiple sources confirm to FOX 4 that the man arrested is Derron Black, a Democrat who ran for a Missouri House seat in District 23 last year, but lost. As he was being taken out of the theater in handcuffs he called out City Councilman Jermaine Reed.
“City Councilman Reed can’t even show up city-appointed meetings,” he said emphatically. “He can’t even be there to actually govern his own f—ing city.”
Reed responded to Tuesday’s speech disruption. You can read his response below.
“All I really saw was a streak coming up from my right and I had no idea where he was going or what he was doing, jumped on the stage, came around behind me didn’t touch me but did start getting very loud,” said Mayor James.
Kansas City Missouri Chief of Police Darryl Forte says the man arrested did not have a weapon.
Sources confirm Black is in custody now and could be facing state charges of assault on an officer. Mayor James praised his security guards for reacting appropriately.
Police say the man in custody is cooperating and say it does not appear he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
FOX 4′s Katie Ferrell was at the speech and tweeted about the disruption, which likely became a mental distraction to many in the audience throughout the rest of the speech.
Shortly before the intrusion, the mayor remembered those 108 people lost to violence in the city and honored former Jackson County prosecutor Albert Riederer and former civic leader Adele Hall, as well has Megan Cramer the woman who died in the explosion at JJ’s restaurant.
The mayor joked that last year he took responsibility for the lack of snow.
“Apparently that was a one-year gig. My apologies,” he said.
“We’re charged with spending hard-earned tax dollars wisely,” the mayor said.
He reminded people of the four ‘Es’ on which he campaigned: efficiency, employment, education and enforcement.
Shortly after that, the man barged onto the stage, said his one line and was tackled. The mayor was not hurt.
CITY COUNCILMAN RELEASES STATEMENT
Kansas City councilman Jermaine Reed responded to Tuesday’s outburst with the following statement:
“As city leaders, we cannot allow today’s obscene outburst from one individual to slow our progress toward serving every single neighborhood in Kansas City. My commitment to the citizens of the 3rd District has been to actively engage with them first hand, to listen to their concerns and find solutions.
That commitment was only strengthened today. I know the Mayor and my fellow council colleagues feel as committed as I am to achieve these goals together: to create more and better jobs, quality housing, and safe neighborhoods in the 3rd district.”