Kevin King is one of the highest-paid officials in the St. Petersburg, Florida city government. In October of 2014, King expressed in private Facebook messages that he has an “obsession with homeless black men.”
“So many in St. Pete near me,” King continued. “I should start an organization called handjobs for the homeless.”
In a city with the highest rate of homelessness in all of Pinellas County, King—the city’s Chief of Policy and Public Engagement who was also the Chief of Staff from 2014-2017, expressed a predatory urge to sexually exploit the black homeless population.
These messages, along with a photograph sent by King of himself in bed with an unnamed black man, were publicized by Communities United for Reparations and Economic Development at its founding conference on June 30th, 2018.
The recipient of the messages, a former friend of King’s and local activist Melissa Thorp, spoke at the conference as well, where she also revealed that King had sexually assaulted her.
King is a longtime underling of the current Mayor Rick Kriseman, who himself is notorious for polluting the black community by dumping a billion gallons of sewage into the water. Kriseman is also known among the homeless community his brutal tactics of repression including the infamous “saturday morning massacres” involving mass arrests of homeless people.
Kevin King was arrested in 2002 for attempting to rape two teenage girls while he was a substitute teacher. His record was mysteriously expunged.
When Kriseman was elected mayor, he increased his own salary to nearly $200,000 and appointed King as the Chief of Staff and gave him a salary of over $120,000.
St. Petersburg’s homeless population is 63 percent black. The Kriseman administration’s aggressive policy of gentrification, including the recent displacement of the historically black Jordan Park community to build high-rises, is responsible for the increasing rate of black homelessness.
The revelations of King’s stated interest in sexually exploiting homeless black men calls into question whether the Kriseman administration’s policies serve a hidden purpose of feeding the predatory sexual appetite of Kriseman’s second-highest paid government official.