.Mayor Releases Apology From Teen Who Threatened Him

On Thursday evening, Santa Cruz City Mayor Fred Keeley released a statement alongside the family of the 16-year-old who made death threats against the Mayor last week. 

On Jan. 10, the teenager left death threats on Keeley’s voicemail in response to the city council declining to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. 

According to a joint statement, Keeley, the teenager and his father met at City Hall Jan. 18 to have an open dialogue about the teenager’s actions. At the meeting, the teenager presented the mayor with a letter of apology for his actions, and the three “pledged to each other that we would keep open lines of communication for any future complex and vexing issues.” 


According to the statement, they spent half an hour sharing thoughts on public policy and discussing their relative perspectives. 

“We recommend this kind of conversation to others who have strongly held views, and want to manifest peace and reconciliation in the face of turmoil,” the statement read. 

secure document shredding

The family also released the apology, included in full below. 

On behalf of our family, we truly apologize for the actions our son took on January 10.  He got caught up in the moment after watching a Santa Cruz meeting online and was confused  with what he saw and thought that making this call would change the conflict overseas without  thinking about the pain this would cause to you, your staff and family. He regrets these actions and now has processed and understood how much pain this caused you and your family including  his family here at home. He now understands that threat violence or threat thereof is not the answer to solutions. Our family including my son truly apologize to you and hopefully with time  you can forgive this act taken upon you, your staff and loved ones. We thank you for taking the  time to talk to us, as we will use this as a learning experience for his growth into adulthood.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s contrast this response with the vandalism of the BLM mural by teenagers. One offense was made an example of and the young people prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for an extended period of time; this kid in contrast is basically given a pass for death threats after writing an apology and then gets a private audience with the mayor to express his views. What will this kid learn from this? How about the costs of this investigation, who pays for that? Why the difference?

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  2. He should be charged with making death threats to a public official…. period. You can’t commit serious crimes and then just apologize and get away with it… I dont care who’s son you are.

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    • Those who identified as Pro-Palestinian at this event were disgusting. They broke windows, harassed elderly women who disagreed with them, booed like a mob when Hamas”s atrocities were described. It is no surprise that youth among them were cajoled to such hatefulness. I want peace for both sides and pro Palestinians groups are just encouraging partisan hate.

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Aiyana Moya
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