A West Virginia mayor is taking fire from all sides after he decided to tear down a homeless encampment at the peak of freezing temperatures.
City employees showed up at the homeless area Tuesday afternoon and began tearing down tents and throwing away boxes of the residents’ possessions. The temperatures that day were a low of six degrees and are expected to dip below freezing every day this week.
Republican Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, who has already taken heat for his opposition to an expanded concealed carry bill in the state, oversaw an angry city council meeting Tuesday night where residents expressed their anger at his decision, WOWK-TV reports.
“They just coming in and taking all their personal stuff,” Tim Walker, who used to live in what was called “Tent City,” told WOWK-TV. “People’s life is in that box that they’re throwing in that garbage can. Might mean nothing to nobody else, but it does to them.”
The grouping of tents have been a part of the area for years, so many criticized the mayor for his decision to suddenly tear them down in the heart of winter.
“I do believe it was the wrong decision to shut it down today,” Pastor Darick Biondi with Glasgow United Methodist Church told WSAZ News. “Maybe it did need to be resolved eventually, but to shut it down on the coldest day of the year …”
One woman, Brooke Drake, attended the meeting, but when she didn’t get a chance to speak she reportedly screamed at the Jones as he passed her.
“Danny Jones handled it in an extremely poor manner,” she told WVMetroNews. “He did not act like a person who has been voted into office by members of this town. He blatantly disregarded people’s questions, wouldn’t acknowledge people were speaking; interrupted people in the middle of their sentences.”
Ezekiel Ellis, who lived in the homeless camp, spoke at the meeting. He represented the homeless being forced out and basically called them hypocrites for praying before meetings and then tearing down homes for the poor.
“I got up there and just said what you’re doing is wrong,” he said. “You all want to say a prayer to God, and you don’t want to do what he asks you to do.”
The mayor has also has drawn scrutiny for his anti-gun positions and comments. Jones was caught on tape in an embarrassing video mocking gun owners who treat their guns like “sex objects.” He also lost his cool in a gun control debate on television, getting loud and angry with the moderator and his opponent and yelling about the National Rifle Association.
[dcquiz] The West Virginia Gun Rights Nonprofit created an ad attacking Jones in February of last year for his opposition to a bill that would allow concealed carriers to bring guns to more places in the city, such as public pools and community centers. The ad featured a quote from Jones where he says “We don’t need guns here and we don’t want guns here,” speaking about the bill.
“Do you agree with rabidly anti-gun Charleston Mayor Danny Jones?” the ad asks.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.