City of Arnold Mayor Karen Peconi is facing scrutiny after screenshots of posts to her personal Facebook page, that call for “rioters to be destroyed by a water canon (sic)” circulated on social media.
The word “cannon” was spelled incorrectly in the post.
In other posts on Peconi’s page, she writes “we need one of these for tomorrow” in reference to a photo of a large water cannon taking aim at protesters.
The posts came amid ongoing protests of the death of 17-year-old old Antwon Rose Jr. in East Pittsburgh on June 19. Rose was shot three times from behind by police officer Michael Rosfeld as Rose ran away from a traffic stop.
“I’m posting this so the authorities everywhere sees this … bring the hoses,” wrote Peconi.
“They don’t care about jobs for PGH … none of them work now. That’s how they can do this at 7 a.m. Very sad,” Peconi also wrote.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 called Peconi Monday night after the Facebook posts surfaced, in which she appears to suggest that protesters should be sprayed with water cannons.
Peconi answered her home phone and said “I have no comment.”
Speaking in third person she also said “the mayor didnt’ post those.”
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 also reached out to the Arnold City Council members via email.
Councilman Philip McKinley called Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 and shared his thoughts.
“I was just flabbergasted. This doesn’t concern us here in Arnold. You can take it several different ways,” said McKinley.
“When she said, ‘Those people don’t work in the morning,’ you knew what she was talking about.
“City of Arnold is predominately African-American. We all live side by side.
“It shouldn’t be about race.The comment is not called for, whatsoever.
“I don’t believe it is something the mayor should be posting. Everybody has the right to demonstrate. Once this gets out there, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people calling for something, an apology or a resignation,” said McKinley.