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'Dog whistle': Kansas City mayor complains that Gov. Parson called suspected Super Bowl parade shooters 'thugs'
Emily Curiel/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

'Dog whistle': Kansas City mayor complains that Gov. Parson called suspected Super Bowl parade shooters 'thugs'

The Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade Wednesday ended in panic and bloodshed. A beloved mother of two was slain, and dozens of others, including at least nine children, were grievously wounded.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) suggested "thugs and criminals" were responsible for the brazen shooting. Kansas City's Democrat Mayor Quinton Lucas took offense to the Republican's characterization of the barbarians responsible for the shooting, suggesting Parson was trafficking in coded racist language.

Quick background

Around 1 million people flocked to downtown Kansas City on Valentine's Day to celebrate the hometown team's Super Bowl Win. As festivities began winding down, gunmen opened fire west of Union Station, where a stage had been set up for speeches by the NFL team's triumphant players.

KCMPD Chief Stacey Graves confirmed that at least 22 people, ages ranging from 8 to 47, were wounded in the shooting. Elizabeth Galvan, a 43-year-old mother of two and popular radio disc jockey, died from her injuries.

Blaze News previously reported that investigators suggested there were no indications the shooting was the product of "terrorism or homegrown violent extremism." Instead, Graves suggested that "this appeared to be a dispute between several people that ended in gunfire."

Jacob Gooch Sr., a survivor of the shooting, told "CBS Mornings" that prior to the shooting, he heard a girl begging one alleged shooter, "Don't do it. Not here. This is stupid."

Gooch said his daughter observed the alleged shooter break free of the woman, then begin "shooting and spinning in a circle."

Footage obtained by TMZ allegedly shows part of the dispute that led to the shooting.

Within moments of the shooting, two heroic dads tackled an individual they believed to be one of the gunmen. That too was caught on camera.

Teens charged

The Jackson County Circuit Court confirmed that a pair of teenagers were charged with "gun-related" offenses Friday as well as with resisting arrest, reported the Kansas City Star.

Both suspects, currently being held at the Juvenile Detention Center, will likely be slapped with additional charges as the investigation into the shootings continues. The Star noted that depending on the charges, the teens might also be tried as adults, especially if accused of first-degree assault and murder.

"I am grateful for the charges against the two juveniles who hurt innocent people, simultaneously scarring an entire community," Chief Graves said in a statement Friday. "We will not relent until everyone who may have played a part in these crimes is apprehended so that they may be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Democratic Mayor Quinton Lucas indicated he too was pleased the duo had been charged, writing, "I thank law enforcement, juvenile court officers, and the Jackson County Prosecutor for bringing a first set of charges of two minors involved in Wednesday's mass shooting. I know more investigation and potentially further charges are ahead as we pursue justice for all impacted."


Gov. Parson, who was reportedly present on the other side of the stage when the shooting occurred, told host Pete Mundo on KCMO Talk Radio Thursday that Kansas City does not "need to be judged by one incident that happened at the end of that yesterday. ... It's a wonderful city, a great city, a lot of good people up there — as you seen perfect examples of that yesterday with the people that responded to this incident."

"We can't let some thugs and criminals just, you know, take over and ruin what happened," continued the governor. "I feel for these parents, these kids."

The Republican suggested that it should be easy to track down those responsible on account of all the active cameras in the area and intimated further that all of those who drew weapons are ultimately culpable for murder.

Thinking on the tragedy and on the children whose lives have been forever impacted, Parson said, "I just hate it, you know, as a grandparent of kids going out there, trying to have a little fun, trying to get a glimpse of a player or whatever they may be there for — a celebration."

"Then you just got some absolutely — be careful what I say before I say something I'm gonna probably regret — just a bunch of criminals, thugs out there, just killing people in an instant like that," continued Parson. "And attempting to kill all those people and created such chaos that people got hurt, been trampled."

Parson stressed that prosecutors should "go after these people full bore."

Perceived racism

Mayor Lucas appeared on a local radio show called "Up to Date" Friday and used up some of his airtime to condemn Parson for daring to call those who would open fire into a crowd of innocents "thugs."

Lucas, a leftist who has fought state efforts to increase funding for police, told KCUR host Steve Kraske, "I disagree strongly with how he would describe that situation. I certainly do think this was criminal activity. It was lawlessness, and I think that's troubling. But 'thugs' is a dog whistle in the most classic sense," reported Fox News Digital.

In the most classic sense, "thug" was an Indian term for a cheat or swindler. However, it appears to have been ported over from Marathi to English in the 19th century and used in reference to roving gangs of murderous robbers.

In the way of murderers and robbers, Lucas' city appears to have an overabundance.

According to the Kansas City Star, the city set a record last years for homicides with at least 185 slayings. Over 240 were slain across the metro area. The previous year, there were 171 homicides.

Kansas City has a score of 1 on Neighborhood Scout's crime index, where 100 is safest. The chance of becoming victim of a violent crime is 1 in 67. The likelihood of falling victim to a property crime is 1 in 21.

"I've seen this dog whistle time and time again," continued Lucas. "There's this kind of giant conservative theory on social media now that the reason these mug shots haven't been shown is because the purported defendants are black, and if it were a white defendant we would have just shown them. That is absolutely preposterous. There are protections to juveniles."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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