Jack Brewer files police report against MSNBC host Joy Reid over comments about Black children being used at DeSantis photo-op

Former NFL player Jack Brewer is asking MSNBC host Joy Reid for an apology after he filed a police report against the cable news anchor last week over comments she made that criticised a group of Black boys being pictured with Florida Gov Ron DeSantis during the signing of an anti-critical race theory bill.

On 23 April, the Florida governor signed a measure, already being challenged in court over First Amendment concerns, that would regulate what teachers can discuss around racism, sexism, and issues of systemic inequality in the classroom.

The bill, which Mr DeSantis aptly named “Stop W.O.K.E.” (Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees), was signed while several attendees in support of the controversial legislation stood behind the governor for a photo-op, including a group of Black boys which the MSNBC host seized upon as evidence of something untoward.

“This mis-use of Black boys is tantamount to child abuse,” the MSNBC host of The ReidOut tweeted on the day the bill was signed, while sharing a post from Democratic Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones that called the photo “indoctrination”.

“I would really like to hear the back-story on who these kids were and how they wound up at a DeSantis event. Given how anti-Black DeSantis is, using Black children this way is extra sick,” she continued.

On Friday, the former NFL and philanthropist shared a letter that he’d penned to the MSNBC host exclusively with Fox News and inside he slammed Ms Reid for the tweets she sent, which included a photo focusing on three Black children who were holding signs condemning critical race theory. Mr Brewer contends that the children, who Ms Reid said were being used as “props” during the bill’s signing, are members of school programs he found, including The Serving Institute and The Heroes program.

“Ms. Reid’s reckless statements placed these kids in danger. Certain people motivated by Reid’s comments are furiously trying to figure out their identities," Mr Brewer wrote in his letter to Ms Reid, adding that he demanded a public apology by 2 May.

“The families are forced to deal with harassment by the media, and being shamed by members of the community, for their presence at the event. My foundation was forced to add security and police presence at our facilities.”

In addition to the public apology, the former NFL star said during a series of interviews with Fox News’ hosts last week that a police report had been filed against the MSNBC host last week.

“When you put out to your 2.1 million followers to go find out where my kids are and who they are and who brought them that’s a direct threat,” Mr Brewer said while giving an interview on Fox and Friends with host Steve Doocy.

Writing in a follow-up tweet to her original one that called into question the presence of the young Black children at the governor’s bill signing event, Ms Reid wrote that she’d heard from a source that the boys in the picture attended a Miami charter school, but she wouldn’t “name the school to spare them from MAGA harassment/threats”.

“They may not have known in advance why there were there,” she continued.

Mr Brewer, a Democrat-turned-Republican and now devout Trump supporter, attended a rally in Nebraska over the weekend where the former president appeared alongside Charles Herbster, a gubernatorial candidate accused of sexual misconduct by at least eight women.

Mr Herbster has denied any wrongdoing and has not faced any charges over the allegations.

Mr Trump said over the weekend rally that Mr Herbster has “been badly maligned, and it’s a shame. That’s why I came out here”, while Mr Brewer, who donned a red hat emblazoned with Mr Herbster’s name across the top, blessed the group with a prayer.

“Let’s demand that they put prayer back in our schools,” he said to the cheering group, many holding up signs of their own that read Trump’s re-election tag: “Save America!”. “Let’s demand that they get rid of this CRT and all this transgenderism.”

Mr Brewer told Fox News in an interview that police in the area had stepped up their presence at the facilities where the children in the photo attend after school programs.

Unlike how Ms Reid characterised it in her tweets, the children, Mr Brewer explained to the news outlet, were aware of the event they were attending and were part of a program that he’d launched in 2021 that taught “prepared” students and parents “for the realities of Critical Race Theory”.

“Our kids are very aware of the divisive ideology of CRT and are instead trained on biblical based principles of equality and pouring into their anointing as mighty children of God,” he wrote in the letter.

The Independent has reached out to Ms Reid and Mr Brewer for comment on the tweet exchange. As of Monday afternoon, Ms Reid’s tweets are still on the social media platform, and she has not issued a public apology to the NFL star.