Black Lives Matter Rhode Island is demanding the resignation of a top official at the Rhode Island Democratic Party over what the organization characterized as "blatant disregard for human life."
What is the background?
Democratic strategist Kate Coyne-McCoy, a top leader of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, faced backlash after tweeting that she hoped Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would die after contracting COVID-19.
Coyne-McCoy later apologized, claiming she regretting having exercised "poor judgement."
What did BLM say?
According to the social justice organization, Coyne-McCoy's "poor judgement" was not a singular instance. In fact, the organization discovered an apparent pattern in Coyne-McCoy's tweets where she wishes death upon Republicans.
Last March, Coyne-McCoy responded to a picture that included then-President Donald Trump, members of his Cabinet, top congressional Republicans, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, among others, by saying her "gut reaction" to the photo is that hoped each person in the photo dies.
She said, "I am not proud of my gut reaction which is 'I hope they all die.'"
Image source: Twitter screenshot
In response to the troubling remark, Rhode Island Black Lives Matter PAC released a statement demanding Coyne-McCoy's "immediate resignation," citing Coyne-McCoy's "blatant disregard for human life."
In a time where many human lives have been lost to COVID-19 all across Rhode Island, this comment is extremely distasteful and insensitive. Regardless of political affiliation, the disregard for human life is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anywhere within any political party. How can we trust someone with such blatant disregard for human life with the will of RI voters? Anyone affiliated with the Democratic Party should be held to a higher standard, as McCoy was hired to "modernize the party and position Democrats to win from the top to the bottom of the ballots.
Anything short of an immediate resignation, would signal that these types of comments are acceptable within the RI Democractic (sic) Party.
In a separate statement provided to Fox News about Coyne-McCoy's 2020 tweet, RI BLM said, "Wishing death on people is customary for the RI Democratic Party Chief Political Strategist Kate Coyne McCoy, as she made similar comments back in March of last year."
"BLM RI PAC strongly urges RI Governor Dan McKee and House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi to call for her immediate resignation, as those views regardless of political affiliation should never be accepted," the group added.
What did the party say?
Despite the bipartisan outrage facing Coyne-McCoy, top Democrats in Rhode Island are bucking the backlash.
Rhode Island House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D), for example, said he spoke with Coyne-McCoy and was satisfied with her admission of regret.
"Kate Coyne-McCoy's tweet from her personal account was offensive and it does not reflect my views or those of the Rhode Island Democratic Party," Shekarchi told the Providence Journal. "I have spoken to her and she is extremely remorseful, and I'm pleased she apologized."
Meanwhile, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) refused to call for Coyne-McCoy's resignation, saying he thinks Democrats should "let the process play out."