KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's mayor was sent text messages calling him a racial slur and saying he "should swing from a tree" because of his order requiring face coverings to be worn in public.
Quinton Lucas shared a screenshot of the text messages and more in Twitter posts Monday, the same day his mask order took effect.
In the first post, Lucas said a photo of him posing at a radio station was manipulated and circulated on social media to make it appear he was holding an anti-police T-shirt.
"Social media and photo shop are always fascinating," Lucas wrote on Twitter. "To the many texting me aghast of fake photos circulating, I recommend you not believe everything a muckraker sends your way ... and use some judgment.
"Odd to have to disprove something so patently ridiculous and nonsensical (who takes a smiling F the police photo at a rock station?), but alas, that's 2020."
The text messages Lucas was sent about the mask order called him the N-word and referenced lynching. One text said "You should swing from a tree, I'm not threatening it, but would love to see it."
Lucas said during a news conference later Monday the purpose of sharing the messages was important to the ongoing debate about public health.
"I wanted to make clear to the public kind of some of the vitriol that's out there and how far we've gotten from being common sensible about what we are doing," he said.
"We are talking about masks because we want to protect people. It has nothing to do with race, frankly. It has nothing to do with being decisive or political. It has everything to do with, let's have a city that functions and a city that tries to keep people safe."
On Twitter, Lucas also pointed out: "Add to this the racial slur and subtle death threat I received yesterday about requiring masks, and it's like, y'all ... let's do better," he wrote along with a photo of the texts.
"A downside to giving your cell number to everyone."
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