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March 20th, 2013
10:56 AM ET

Kansas City Mayor: Man who rushed stage has frustrations that are the same to my frustrations

On "Starting Point" this morning, Kansas City Mayor Sly James talks with John Berman and Christine Romans about the unarmed man who rushed the stage during his State of City Speech.

James, who has been mayor since May 2011, believes that it was clear the man "had something to say, and he was intent on saying it.” Derron Black had unsuccessfully run for the Missouri House last year, and was taken into custody after the incident. The mayor seemed unfazed while security apprehended Black, and removed him from stage. James’ calm and cool demeanor can be attributed to his time in the Marine Corps.

James does not think this was a security breach, and has “nothing but faith” in his security team. He feels part of being a mayor is having people around him at all times, and that any added security would make him unapproachable.

“I’m not the President, I’m the mayor of a city, I’m supposed to be out with the people talking to them,” he says.

Given the problems facing certain parts of Kansas City such as unemployment, lack of education, high crime rates, and poverty, the mayor sympathizes with the man’s frustrations, “the only difference that he and I may actually have is his method of delivery.”

As a parting note James wishes the man “nothing but the best, and perhaps at some point in the future we can have a conversation and get things straightened out.”

Filed under: Kansas City • Politics
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