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Omaha mayor responds to outrage over Facebook comment about Korean letters

 Mayor Jean Stothert
Mayor Jean Stothert (WOWT)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 3:54 PM CDT
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A woman choosing to display her name using Korean letters became the target of a response from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert

after commenting on the mayor's post earlier this week about the emergency order.

The mayor's reply read: "a Facebook troll who hides behind symbols and doesn't list their name, is a coward."

Soyeon Sohn is a Korean American. A family from Hastings, Nebraska adopted her when she was 4-months-old. Sohn says shes struggled with her cultural identity for years and is hurt the mayor hasn't apologized.

"I was caught off guard more than anything. A public official making that statement publicly on her own Facebook page degrading a citizen that’s just uncalled for and unprofessional," said Sohn.

drew harsh criticism on the post, which has since been removed from

, and was the subject of several emails and Facebook messages to 6 News, who asked Stothert for a response.

The mayor's office acknowledged removing the post and issued the following statement on the matter:

This week, Mayor Stothert’s Facebook page has been used to communicate many statements that are profane, promote hatred and harassment and threaten others, which violate the Terms of Use posted on the page. In a post that provided the text of the Emergency Order currently in effect in Omaha, the Mayor and others responded to a comment that she is not showing leadership and is a coward. This was one of several comments made by someone using characters to identify himself or herself. Hundreds of comments on the post devolved into name calling, harassing and threatening comments. The entire post – and several other posts on the page that include comments in violation of the Terms of Use have been removed.

Sohn says she's asking for the mayor to step down from office.

"You had the chance to make it right. But instead, you chose to say this violated your terms and conditions of your page. You had the chance to apologize and you didn’t," Sohn said.

has been alerted to the situation and told 6 News they are meeting with board members Tuesday and plan to release a joint statement Wednesday.

A representative from the mayor's office says that Stothert will not be resigning over this. Her legal team has declared the woman the comment was directed at a troll, saying they feel she often attempts to start arguments in the comments section.

When asked whether the mayor would apologize, she said no, but did say that she didn't realize the characters were Sohn’s name.

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