A police car blocks the scene of a shooting at Village Shalom, an assisted living center, as rain falls in Overland Park, Kansas April 13, 2014.
Dave Kaup/Reuters

Mayor who ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas shooting suspect faces backlash

Updated

Residents of a small Missouri town may try to impeach their newly elected mayor after he said this week that he “kind of agreed” with the beliefs of the white supremacist accused of killing three people during a shooting rampage outside two Jewish community centers in Overland Park, Ka., last weekend. 

Residents rallied Wednesday outside City Hall in Marionville, Mo., calling for the ouster of Mayor Dan Clevenger, according to the Aurora Advertiser and KOLR

In an interview this week, Mayor Clevenger spoke out about accused shooter Frazier Glenn Cross, who frequented the small town about a three-hour drive south of the Kansas City suburb where the shooting occured.

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‘An affront to who we are’

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder attends a memorial in Kansas for the victims of Sunday’s shooting, vowing to bring the perpetrator of any alleged hate-crime to justice. Meanwhile, a small town mayor is under fire for voicing support for the accused killer.

“He was always nice and friendly and respectful of elder people.  He respected his elders greatly, as long as they were the same color as him,” Clevenger said of Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, in a interview Tuesday with KSPR. “Very fair and honest and never had a bit of problems out of him.”

“Kind of agreed with him on some things, but I don’t like to express that too much,” Clevenger added. 

The mayor repudiated Cross’s alleged violence in the interview, saying he was shocked to hear the allegations. “It was shocking that he would do something like that, but knowing him and how much was built up inside of him that, you know I can understand why he would be the one to do that,” Clevenger said. 

But Clevenger’s condemnation of the violence hasn’t quelled the concern of some Marionville residents who want him to resign.

“We plan to go before the City Council or Board of Alderman and ask for his resignation,” voter Debbie Sallee told KOLR. “And we will be asking if he doesn’t resign for the Marionville City Council to begin impeachment because we feel he has failed to do what is in the best interest of the citizens of Marionville.” 

Clevenger, who took office only this month, had been under fire already for comments about Jews that he wrote in a letter unearthed by a resident and published in a local paper last month. 

Prosecutors charged Cross with one count of capital murder and one count of premeditated murder in connection with the shooting rampage this week. The three victims were remembered at a memorial Thursday in Overland Park.

Attorney General Eric Holder appeared at the event to offer the support of the nation. Every alleged hate crime, no matter who the intended target, is an affront to who we are, and who we always have been, both as a country and as a people,” he said. “These acts cannot be ignored, and their impact is not limited to particular communities or to particular individuals.”

That’s why, today, although our hearts are truly broken, all Americans, all Americans, stand with the people of Overland Park, of Leawood, and of Kansas City,” he continued. “We are united in our condemnation of this heinous attack, and in our commitment to see that justice is served.”

Justice System and Racism

Mayor who 'kind of agreed' with Kansas shooting suspect faces backlash

Updated