Lisa Lagrone speaks to a television news crew as police investigate the scene of a homicide on March 8 near the corner of Hodiamont and Etzel avenues in St. Louis. “I’m offended the major crime team isn’t here,” Lagrone said. “I’m offended the mayor isn’t here.” The mayor at the time, Lyda Krewson, was replaced by Tishaura Jones, who continues to struggle with high homicide rates.
Photo by Sara Diggins, firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to public safety in St. Louis, it’s time for the mayor and the circuit attorney to provide some answers.
On April 24, Mayor Tishaura Jones and Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner toured the city’s medium security jail. Jones invited Gardner, along with U.S. Rep. Cori Bush and activist Kayla Reed. After the tour, which reporters were not allowed inside to cover, Jones, Bush and Reed each made statements supporting Jones’ effort to make good on her campaign promise to close the jail in her first 100 days in office.
“People are being held for months before they’re indicted, for months before they see a judge, for months before they have any sort of relief to get back to their families,” Reed said.
Gardner did not address the media that day. And for good reason. First, many observers raised objections about her presence on the tour at all. As the city’s prosecutor, she is engaged in ongoing legal proceedings with nearly every inmate housed in the jail. Second, much of what Reed complained about in her statement was in no way the fault of the people who run the city’s jails, but rather the result of decisions made by Gardner and her office.