An embattled Missouri state senator accused U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of placing politics ahead of her support for minorities Friday after a racially charged court ruling sparked protests in St. Louis.
State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, faced pressure from McCaskill and other Democratic Party leaders to resign after she said she wished for President Donald Trump’s assassination in a Facebook post.
Chappelle-Nadal, who refused calls to resign and was reprimanded by the state Senate this week, criticized McCaskill Friday on Twitter after a St. Louis judge found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith.
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McCaskill, a Democrat facing a tough re-election fight in 2018, said in a statement that some Missourians “are sure to be pained by today’s decision, and others will agree with the ruling, but the fact is that none of us can let it detract from the goals that we all should share — safer streets, where police have the trust of the communities they serve, and a system of justice that’s fair to all of our citizens.”
Chappelle-Nadal quoted a Twitter user who called McCaskill’s statement weak and insufficient. Chappelle-Nadal then added that McCaskill “certainly knows how to throw Black people under the bus when it’s politically expedient.”
McCaskill, who has been making overt appeals to Trump voters in recent months, called for Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation immediately after her Facebook post on Trump. McCaskill’s office declined to respond Friday to a question about the state senator’s criticism.
Asked about the tweet, Chappelle-Nadal said in a text message, “Talk about trauma communities of color are experiencing due to police violence. That is the baseline of conversation. If you can’t discuss that, there’s no need to talk.”
She also criticized the state Democratic Party in a separate tweet, posting the party’s statement on the Stockley verdict that says the party is committed to “building communities that recognize that black lives matter.” Chappelle-Nadal noted that that this statement came from the same party that “threw a Black senator under the bus instead of understanding the trauma of BLACK PEOPLE.”
A spokesman for the state party declined to comment on Chappelle-Nadal’s tweets about the party and McCaskill.