Cop-bashing liberal who campaigned on defunding police wins St. Louis mayoral race as murders hit 50 year high

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ST LOUIS, MO – The former St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones, defeated fellow Democrat Cara Spencer in the runoff for the mayoral race in St. Louis earlier in April.

Based upon Jones’ outspoken positions on certain matters relevant to modern public discourse, in concurrence with what she campaigned on specifically for this election, the city of St. Louis could be in store for some significant changes with respect to policing in the city.

The runoff election for St. Louis mayor was a relatively tight race, with Jones landing the race by securing 51.68% of the vote. Both Jones and her opponent in the race, Spencer, had no issue with coining themselves as being modern day progressives and ran their campaigns as being emblematic of such.

The runoff election came on the heels of St. Louis’ current mayor, Lyda Krewson, who opted not to seek a second term.

Anita Manion, who serves as an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, noted that there’s a proverbial “changing of the guard” ongoing with voters in St. Louis that are seeking elected officials that “resonate with progressive voters”:

“Over the past five years or so we’ve seen a shift in St. Louis politics, away from the old guards like Lyda Krewson and Lewis Reed.

“They come from decades of Democratic politics in St. Louis that have been very business-friendly, sort of pro-police, and some of the attitudes that, I think, doesn’t resonate with progressive voters or younger voters anymore. This is a changing of the guard that we’re seeing.”

And when it comes to progressive politics, Jones is right up there with being an apt representation – almost to the point of being a stereotypical trope – of a modern-day progressive, based upon some of our previous statements and what she campaigned on for this race.

For instance, back in 2017, Jimmy Tobias of The Nation referred to Jones as being a “champion of Black Lives Matter.” The Associated Press recently referred to her as being “outspoken in her criticism of the criminal justice system’s arrest and incarcerate model.”

Earlier in 2021, Jones even supported what is referred to as the decriminalization of “sex work,” a.k.a. prostitution. Her proposed remedy for the alleged injustice of prostitution being criminalized was to provide those who solicit their bodies with housing and unemployment assistance/resources.

So, it should be of little surprise to learn that Jones campaigned on defunding the police in St. Louis.

Albeit Jones’ campaigning efforts didn’t necessarily coin it as “defunding the police,” but instead presented it as restructuring of the police department’s budget via reallocating funds from police budgets to fund substance abuse centers, job training programs, and mental health services.

Which, no matter how one spins or phrases it, subtracting funds originally designated for policing budgets and redistributing those funds elsewhere is still defunding the police.

The only difference between the two presented concepts is that one is more linguistically crafted to overly emphasize silver linings or potential benefits in an endeavor to remove police funding.

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With a mayor poised to assume office in St. Louis that has advocated for defunding the police, Law Enforcement Today reported back in December that the city has been experiencing a spike in homicides. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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ST LOUIS, MO – Two shootings along the interstate in St Louis on November 30th didn’t surprise police around the St Louis area, who say that the city is full of illegal guns.

Bill Carson, police chief in Maryland Heights, a northwest suburb of St Louis, said:

“The streets are absolutely flooded with stolen guns.

Many of them are coming from legal gun owners who are carrying them in their cars. It’s so prevalent now that criminals are confident they’ll find a gun when breaking into a car. Criminals are looking specifically for guns. They’re finding guns and a lot of times when we encounter them, they are armed with guns they’ve stolen out of cars.

They might hit an apartment parking lot and hit 15-20 cars and come up with three guns.  They’re hitting the jackpot.”

Public service announcement #1:  While carrying a gun for self-defense is legal, and smart in many cases, don’t leave it in your vehicle.

Police are currently investigating the two interstate shootings. The first shooting occurred in the middle of the afternoon at about 3 p.m. on I-170 near Olive Blvd (MO Hwy 340). Reports indicated that an SUV had bullet holes in the driver’s side – 46-year-old Kristen Whitted was shot and killed.

Four hours later, St. Louis police reported a second interstate shooting at about 7 p.m. near I-55 and Germania Street on the city’s south side. An incident report says “an unknown black sedan pulled next to (the victim) on the exit ramp and fired a shot into his vehicle. The victim is stable. The investigation is ongoing.”

Chief Carson said they’re finding many crimes tied to stolen guns. Last June, Maryland Heights police were undercover in a car break-in sting when a 17-year-old suspect who was checking car door handles shot an officer who confronted him.

Chief Carson added:

“It becomes more dangerous for the police officers because they are finding more and more people breaking into cars that are armed with handguns.

It’s a vicious cycle. He said when violence spikes, law-abiding citizens buy guns, and then criminals steal them from cars.”

Public service announcement #2:  While carrying a gun for self-defense is legal, and smart in many cases, don’t leave it in your vehicle.

Directly related to the rise in crime, people arming themselves, and those guns subsequently being stolen, homicides in the St Louis area are up 100% from ten years ago, and up 25% from last year to this year.

The St Louis police department has reported that there were 144 homicides in 2010.  So far this year, there have been 242.  In an eerie comparison to Chicago and Cook County, the large majority of the homicide victims have been black men between 15 and 30 years old.

Homicides had been on the decline after 2010, but 2015 saw a sharp rise – 24% over 2014.

City, county, state, and federal leaders have come together on the subject to try to curb the climbing homicide rate.  St Louis is down more than 140 officers from its normal manning standard.  50 federal agents have been pledged to assist city, county, and state officers.

Homicides, especially, and crime, in general presents huge economic losses to areas impacted by rising crime – The National Center for Biotechnology Information produced a study in 2010, referencing crime statistics from 2007:

“23 million criminal offenses were committed in 2007, resulting in approximately $15 billion in economic losses to the victims and $179 billion in government expenditures on police protection, judicial and legal activities, and corrections.”

Just like Portland and Seattle, where riots and occupations are a daily occurrence, those cities have seen huge financial losses due to businesses closing and leaving the area.  The financial future certainly looks bleak there.  The same can certainly be said of cities like St Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York where rising crime is deterring normal tourism and business development.

The Catch-22 is that a city’s mayor, city council, and Chamber of Commerce are all aligned to bring business and tourism into their city – and crime prevents tourists and business developers from taking a serious look at their area.

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