Adebate on how to tackle crime in St. Louis went nuclear Thursday after pundit asked network contributor and civil rights attorney Leo Terrell when he was last “in the ghetto.”
On “America’s Newsroom” hosted by Bill Hemmer, the two pundits were discussing St. Louis Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones’ new crime plan for the city, which is experiencing record levels of violence. The plan includes employing more social workers to work with police, drug and mental health treatment and mandatory mental health evaluations for police.
“I wish her the best. She seems very idealistic but unrealistic in many regards,” Rivera said of Jones’ plan.
Terrell said he was totally against her efforts, which he argued would “basically give the keys of the city to the criminals.”
Hemmer then asked Terrell to weigh in on a comment Jones made during the mayoral race. Jones told her opponent that while she appreciated “white allies,” she didn’t believe they had the lived experiences to be able to lead a majority-minority city.
Terrell said it was the “most insulting, racist comment” and that it was offensive for Jones to suggest she was better prepared to lead the city because she was Black.
“Hey Leo, when was the last time you were in the ghetto?” Rivera asked.
“How dare you say that?” Terrell shouted. “You know nothing about me! How dare you say that?”
“I have been a civil rights attorney for 30 years. I have fought discrimination for 30 years,” he added.
Rivera later apologized on Twitter:
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