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KSDK: St. Louis mayor faces fresh fallout from police group after disclosure of thousands of personal text messages

ST. LOUIS — The Ethical Society of Police on Friday responded to recently disclosed text messages in which St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones criticized the organization.

Earlier this week, the city provided thousands of text messages from Jones’ personal cell phone under an open records request.

The ESOP, an organization made up of primarily Black police officers in the city, endorsed Jones for office in 2021, but has since had a falling out with the mayor during negotiations over police oversight and an attempted state takeover of the police department.

In a group chat with her father–former city comptroller Virvus Jones–and Richard Callow, her political adviser, the mayor sent them a link on May 14 to a 5 On Your Side report detailing how she outmaneuvered police unions to defeat the state takeover. The ESOP had supported state control.

Callow replied, “Hahaha. The boys picked the wrong mayor to fight.”

The mayor responded, “And ESOP still won’t shut the f— up!”

“They sold out,” Callow added.

The ESOP said in a statement that while it was used to facing criticism and respected others’ right to disagree, “we don’t take well to disrespect.

“The Ethical Society of Police won’t be ‘shut up’ because that is abandoning those we serve,” the statement added

In addition to cleaning up the fallout from the release of the mayor’s text messages, her aides are also taking steps to remove them from public view.