Kansas City – An African-American man who stormed the stage during Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ “State of City” speech on Tuesday has today been charged with two misdemeanors.
Derron L. Black, 31, was charged with 3rd degree assault on a law enforcement officer and with obstructing government operations, according to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
As the mayor was giving his speech in front of audience of about 250 people at the Gem Theater, an enraged Black charged the stage, throwing a flag to the floor and shouted expletives into the microphone.
“This man just got through talking about exactly what the [expletive] he ain’t [expletive] did,” Black said while grabbing the microphone.
Black, who unsuccessfully ran for a seat representing Missouri House District 23, was tackled down to the ground by security personnel before being handcuffed and locked up overnight.
The court file alleges that when the mayor’s bodyguard, Marlon Buie, attempted to grab Black, he resisted by punching and swinging his arms. The officer sustained a cut to his neck and bruising to his arm and was treated at hospital.
Prosecutors requested a bond of $5,000 and that Black does not contact the mayor’s office or its employees.
On Tuesday night Black issued an apology on YouTube. The audio recording apologies to “fellow Kansas Citizens” for being “disrespectful and disruptive” but challenged the mayor as “disillusioned” to the true state of the city.
The audio, posted by Rabbi Alam, identifies the speaker as Derron Black, who confirms he is in downtown Kansas City at police headquarters.
James, a former Marine, was unharmed during the incident and stared off stage at the altercation. When he turned back to the audience he said, “Well, that was unfortunate.”
“It’s unfortunate that we have people who feel that somehow we have left them behind. I don’t blame him for whatever feelings he wanted to express, I do have a small problem with the method,” said James to a laughing audience. “But no system is perfect, no city is perfect. We must be open to the concepts and issues and complaints.”
You could hear the Black still yelling behind the stage at times during the speech.
Under Missouri law, a defendant convicted of a Class A misdemeanor faces up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000; being convicted of a Class B, the defendant faces up to 6 months in jail or a fine up to $500.
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