West U councilwoman accused of yelling obscenities at teen wearing Trump shirt releases statement
HOUSTON – Investigators at the Harris County Precinct One Constable's Office on Wednesday filed a disorderly conduct charge against West University Place Councilwoman Kellye Burke, after accusations that she berated a group of teenage girls over a Trump T-shirt.
A photo of Burke is below:
The girls said they were in line at Tiny's Milk and Cookies in West U on Saturday, waiting to buy cookies for younger girls at their nearby church.
"A tall, short-haired blond woman came up to them and screamed, 'Grab em by the (expletive) girls!'" the father of one of the girls said. He did not want to be identified, fearing retaliation against his daughter.
The girls initially tried to laugh it off, the father said.
"Then, she yells it again!" the father said. "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."
One of the girls was wearing a shirt that read, "Trump: Make America Great Again," the father said.
The father said the girls left without responding to the woman. He said one of the girls said she noticed that Burke had taken a picture of her.
"They were scared," the father said. "They were absolutely scared. My little girl essentially wanted to know if this woman was going to hurt her."
West U police referred the case to Harris County Precinct One Constable's office, which filed a class C misdemeanor charge against Burke.
"How dare anyone attack children," Kathryn Faherty said.
"We need to be tolerant of other people's views," added Ana Garcia.
When KPRC2 knocked at Burke's door, she yelled from inside, "What are you doing at my house?"
"You know why we're here at your house," KPRC2 anchor and reporter Jacob Rascon said. She claimed to have no idea. "The disorderly conduct charge," Rascon responded.
"I'm putting my kids to bed!" she yelled. "Go away!"
"Adults can’t behave towards children like that, period," the father said.
He said Burke reached out to his wife, and met with and apologized to both of them.
"We accepted her apology," the father said. "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.
Who is Kellye Burke?
Burke was elected to West U's city council in May 2017.
A biography on the city's website describes Burke as a native Texan, who has lived in West U for over a decade.
Burke's Twitter profile also lists her as a volunteer for a group called Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.
At one point, Burke served as Texas chapter leader for the organization, according to reports.
Burke released a statement through her attorney Thursday. It reads:
"I have repeatedly apologized for the bad judgment I used and making the statement 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."
The West U Mayor issued the following statement on the matter:
"Thank you for reaching out about the city’s position on one of its councilmember’s actions last Saturday. 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."
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