A Texas Democrat councilwoman was charged with disorderly conduct following allegations she screamed obscenities and berated a teenage girl who wore a Trump “MAGA” t-shirt.
West University Place Councilwoman Kellye Burke allegedly screamed angrily at the girl over the shirt which read: “Trump: Make America Great Again.” The teenager said the incident happened on Saturday while she waited in line at Tiny’s Milk and Cookies to buy cookies for youngsters at her nearby church.
The Houston Chronicle describes West University Place as a small, affluent city-within-a-city section of southwest Houston that boasts some of the most expensive housing in the metro area.
KPRC reported that investigators at the Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office filed a disorderly conduct charge against Burke, also a past Texas chapter leader of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”
The father of one of the girls the teen was with told the Houston TV news outlet: “A tall, short-haired blonde woman came up to them and screamed, ‘Grab ’em by the [expletive] girls!'”
He said the girls initially laughed off the flippant remark, treating it like a joke. However, the woman yelled it again. “At that point the girls were getting kind of scared, and then the woman starts, you know, going, ‘MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!’ while shaking her fist.”
He stated the teenage girls left without reacting to the woman. He said one of the girls believed Burke took a picture of her.
“They were scared,” the father continued. “They were absolutely scared. My little girl essentially wanted to know if this woman was going to hurt her.” He added: “Adults can’t behave towards children like that, period.”
The father did not publicly identify himself, fearing retaliation against his daughter. However, he said Burke later reached out to his wife, and met with and apologized to them. “We accepted her apology,” he commented. “I would be just as angry if any parent said this to my child but, as an elected official, I’ll let her voters handle this matter.”
KPRC reporter Jacob Rascon attempted to speak to Burke about the incident and the disorderly conduct charge. He knocked on her door but she yelled from inside: “What are you doing at my house.” He responded: “You know why we’re here at your house.” The councilwoman “claimed” she had no idea why.
Then, on Thursday, Burke released this statement through her attorney:
I have repeatedly apologized for the bad judgment I used and making the statement that I did, but I do not believe repeating the words of the President of the United States is a crime. However, I will apologize again on behalf of myself, the President of the United States and all the media outlets who repeated his words both electronically and in print.
West University Place Mayor Susan Sample issued a lengthy statement on the matter:
The reported comments definitely do not speak for the City of West University Place’s government or employees. My position as Mayor, however, does not afford me any official authority with respect to matters such as this. Neither the city council nor the Mayor has any authority to remove fellow councilmembers.
I am glad to know that this councilmember, who was independently elected by our city voters, is taking responsibility for her own actions and has reached out to the affected families to apologize for her remarks.
This incident is a reminder that part of our responsibility as elected officials is to set a good example of civil discourse for those we represent, particularly our young people. I hope that my Council colleagues and I will move forward in that spirit in doing the work we were elected to do.
A disorderly conduct charge is a class C misdemeanor. If convicted, Burke faces a $500 fine. In 2015, Burke was accused of lying before the Texas Senate during a public hearing on two gun control bills.
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