Kim Crenier, secretary of the Duval County Republican Party, has come under fire for some incendiary comments she made on the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Councilmen and mayoral candidates alike are calling for Crenier to resign after the Republican leader said that authorities should use firehoses against the “thugs” protesting the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting.
Kim Crenier’s Twitter feed became the focus of a firestorm last week when the Republican official’s tweets became a matter of public knowledge. As The Florida Times-Union pointed out last week, Crenier initially began posting immediately following the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. Following his escape from prosecution for the shooting, Wilson announced that he would be resigning from the Ferguson Police Department, saying that he hoped his resignation could aid in the healing process for the community.
“Ferguson, MO. No true bill!” Crenier wrote using the Twitter handle @JaxGOP. “May God bless and protect Officer Darren Wilson and his family. Facts are facts.”
Rick Hartley, chairman of the Duval GOP, confirmed that Duval GOP Secretary Kim Crenier had made the post, which was taken down shortly after it was posted.
“Miss Crenier was speaking on her own behalf,” Hartley said. “She tweeted on the party official [account] but… then she said a lot more on her own Twitter account and none of it should have been on ours.”
The initial tweets, though, were enough to get a good deal of attention. David Vandygriff, a community advocate, looked through Crenier’s personal feed, finding what he said were a lot of tweets with “a large racial undertone.”
Crenier’s personal account is currently protected, so her tweets aren’t visible. Vandygriff provided media sources with a glimpse of the content he says typifies Crenier’s postings. Possibly the most inflammatory of those appeared to allude to a troublesome time in America’s history.
“A suggestion for Ferguson — fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Knock those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway.”
Other tweets from Crenier referred to President Barack Obama as “President Race-Baiter” for his televised speech on Ferguson.
Americans familiar with the Civil Rights Movement will likely be troubled by the idea of turning firehoses on protestors, as that is precisely what government officials ordered in the face of protests at that time. The images of peaceful citizens confronted being met with high-power firehoses is widely credited with shifting popular opinion strongly in favor of the Civil Rights Movement.
Soon after Crenier’s personal comments became public, calls emerged for the Republican official to step down from her post. Jacksonville mayoral candidate Bill Bishop became the first Republican office-holder to call for Crenier to step down when he told the Times-Union that her comments on Ferguson were “inappropriate.”
“The comments that were made were inappropriate,” Bishop said. “They don’t represent what the Republican Party represents, and even if it’s a volunteer position, when you’re in a position of authority in an organization, you have a responsibility to not do stuff like that.”
[Lead images via Daily Kos and Al Jazeera.]