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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 9/17/2009 3:44:56 PM EST

Belleville City Hall steps up security after threats over school bus attack

BELLEVILLE –– Police Chief William Clay has stepped up security at City Hall because threats, stemming from the school bus attack Monday, have been phoned in to the mayor's office, switchboard operator and clerical staff.

He said an on-duty officer was stationed at City Hall during business hours Wednesday and will be there today. Because the officer is "on duty," the city is not having to pay overtime.

"I think it's the right thing to do until cooler heads prevail and until we're no longer the flavor of the month or minute."

Clay said there's no specific threat the police department is guarding against.

"You've got a lot of people with strong racial animosity or beliefs," he said. "Some of them (the threats) I've heard played back to me, they are racist in nature and they're threatening to do harm if certain things are not done to protect the white man, and those kinds of things."

He said incidents like the bus attack draw out people who "already harbor those kinds of beliefs and feel that way. When they get an issue they can exploit, they're going to do that."

No one has been charged in connection with the attack, which occurred Monday morning. Police at first said it might have been racially motivated, but later said they believe it was an example of bullying.

The school suspended seven students, and two teens, a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, face possible juvenile charges.

Mayor Mark Eckert said some angry callers change their tone and are understanding after speaking with him. But City Hall since Tuesday has had more than the usual number who yell, "cuss," and are "belligerent," he said, adding that some staff members have had to field calls "they should not have to take."

"It's great that people can express their concerns and their frustrations," Eckert said. "It's sad when people sometimes get so descriptive and so angry that their messages come across as being very threatening. Unfortunately, that's the world we live in."

Clay said he would reassess the need for an officer at City Hall today.

"I'm not overly concerned about it, but I don't take things for granted," he said. "I think it's just prudent to be mindful, careful until this dies down."

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 4:40:46 PM EST
The tone of that to me was that it was whiteys fault.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 4:45:55 PM EST
Of course it's not racially motivated now that you've got all these pissed off people calling in & raising hell.....

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 6:37:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 7:15:16 PM EST
Unfortunatly, I am willing to bet that the kids that ganged up on and beat the white boy have created a person that will HATE all people of color the rest of his life. At the very least he will mistrust and avoid them. It is a sad statement but I think it very likely will be the case. Very unfortunate.

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 7:18:19 PM EST
Of course its not race related when its the white guy getting beat
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