The mayor of a small Michigan town is being charged with cutting off anyone who tried to criticize her at a September rally where she was filmed screaming at two residents who had come on stage to challenge her.
Monique Owens, 38, is the Democratic mayor of Eastpointe, Michigan, a small town of 32,442 residents.
In September, she was filmed yelling at Karen Beltz, a resident of the city who had never spoken at such a gathering for over 40 years, and Mary Hall-Rayford.
Both women took to the stage to defend 85-year-old city councilor Harvey Curley, who had accused Mayor Owens of assault for cursing her months earlier.
Owens called police in June after the encounter and asked for a protective order from the court, alleging the elderly councilor made her feel unsafe for yelling at her as she took the stage at a car show.
Monique Owens, 38, is the Democratic mayor of Eastpointe, Michigan, a small town of 32,442 residents. In September, she was filmed screaming at two residents in their 60s and 70s who tried to challenge her at a gathering.
Karen Beltz, 66, took the stage first to attempt to challenge Owens over her claim that 85-year-old councilor Harvey Curley had “assaulted” her. She called it “outrageous” but couldn’t finish her sentence before Owens went in
Beltz, a mild-mannered 66-year-old, did not mention or address Owens. Instead, she told Curley that he was respected in the city and that she thought it was “outrageous” that he had to defend himself against the young, outspoken mayor in court.
Before she could finish her thoughts, Owens interrupted her and yelled, “You’re not going to sit here and attack me, lady I’ve never met!
Owens insisted, “Don’t say my name because I don’t know what book you’re reading and I don’t care! You are not going to use that platform to victimize anyone again!
Beltz gave up, returned to her chair, leaving Owen in charge of the room.
“As long as I’m mayor, you don’t use that platform to victimize anyone again. Be it a man, woman or whoever.
‘That’s not the place. Now if anyone wants to talk about what’s going on in this city and not about anyone’s personal affairs, the public hearing is now open.”
Hall-Rayford then resigned.
Owens furious: ‘You’re not going to use that platform to victimize anyone again!’
Mary Hall-Rayford, 77, then resigned. She challenged Owens again, saying, “We have First Amendment rights. We have the right to address our government without fear of retaliation or retaliation. ‘If you can’t stand the criticism, you shouldn’t be mayor. Enough is enough.’
Finally Hall-Rayford left the floor and the other councilors rose from their seats, leaving Owens alone on the panel
Owens, who was elected in 2019, has not yet responded. She is shown, right, after being sworn in
‘This is ridiculous. There is no reason for this. We have First Amendment rights. We have the right to address our government without fear of retaliation or retaliation.
‘If you can’t stand the criticism, you shouldn’t be mayor. Enough is enough.’
In June, Owens accused 85-year-old councilor Harvey Curley of “assault” for berating her and “making her fear for her life.”
Owens, even more excited, started yelling at her too.
‘This is a personal matter! It’s not about criticism. You may criticize my policy…’
Hall-Rayford undauntedly told her to “just stop,” which seemed to have taken her even further.
‘YOU stop it! YOU stop it! You are violating my rights as a person to call the police,” she sobbed.
Finally, Hall-Rayford left the floor and the other councilors rose from their seats, leaving Owens alone on the panel.
Since that meeting in September, the two screaming residents have filed a lawsuit against her, alleging she infringed their First Amendment rights.
Owens, who was elected in 2019, has not yet responded.