Pa. mayor apologizes for calling for police to use water cannons on protesters after teen's shooting death
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A mayor in Pennsylvania issued an apology on Thursday after a Facebook post on her account appeared to call for police to use water cannons against protesters.

Karen Peconi, the Democratic mayor of Arnold, Pa., issued a statement first reported by WTAE 4 Pittsburgh on Thursday calling for protesters demonstrating over the police shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr., 17, to be "destroyed" by hoses and water cannons.

"I love this community, I would do anything for the people here. I don't take my position as Mayor lightly and deeply regret the comments I made on Facebook. It was never my intention to offend anyone, and for those who I offended I am sincerely sorry," Peconi said in a statement.


In a phone call with the news outlet, Peconi appeared to cast blame on an aide for the posts, telling WTAE "the mayor didn't post those."

The apology came after the Democratic mayor faced widespread criticism when screenshots of the now-deleted posts circulated on social media. Arnold and the surrounding Pennsylvania area have seen protests in recent days after police officers shot and killed Rose Jr. in east Pittsburgh on June 19 as he ran away from a traffic stop. He was unarmed, according to police.

"I'm posting this so the authorities everywhere sees [sic] this ... bring the hoses," Peconi reportedly wrote, adding that she wished to see "rioters to be destroyed by a water canon [sic]."

Arnold City Councilman Philip McKinley, said he was shocked by Peconi's comments, which he said contained veiled language aimed at Arnold's predominantly black residents.

"When she said, 'Those people don’t work in the morning,' you knew what she was talking about," McKinley told WTAE, referring to language in one of Peconi's posts.

"[The] City of Arnold is predominately African-American. We all live side by side. It shouldn’t be about race. The comment is not called for, whatsoever," he added.