St. Louis became the murder capital of America in 2020, with homicides increasing nearly 30%

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ST. LOUIS, MO– The FBI recently released its 2020 U.S. crime rate figures, and the numbers show that homicides in the country rose nearly 30% in just one year. St. Louis City reportedly has the highest murder rate out of cities in the U.S., according to the report.  

St. Louis City had 263 homicides in 2020 with a homicide rate of 87 per 100,000 people.

The city’s homicide rates in 2020 hit second place, a 50-year high, only narrowly missing the all-time high record of 267 total homicides set back in 1993. 

As Law Enforcement Today recently reported, in 2020, there were more than 21,000 murders recorded, up 4,901 from the previous year and the highest number since the 1960s.

According to FBI statistics, overall violent crime, which includes murders, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, rose by 5.6% while property crimes decreased by almost 8%.

The FBI based their findings off of information that they received from almost 16,000 out of the 18,000 state and local law enforcement organizations throughout the country.

Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis, points out that while the homicide and violent crime rate are up, those crimes are rare. He stressed it is important to note the rate of other, more common crimes dropped, FOX2Now reported.

According to the FBI’s data, non-violent crimes such as property crimes, continued to fall nationally, dropping in St. Louis as well, with a 6.3% decrease.

Fox2Now reported that Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis, says Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, and St. Louis are often the cities with the highest homicide rates in a year.

According to the latest FBI data in the Crime Data Explorer system, St. Louis has the highest murder rate among those cities. The New York Times also reported St. Louis had the highest murder rate in the country.

City Murders in 2020 Population in 2020 Murder Rate in 2020
Baltimore 299* 585,708 51/100,000 people
Detroit 328 639,111 51/100,000 people
New Orleans 201 383,997 52/100,000 people
St. Louis 263 301,578 87/100,000 people
Data according to FBI Crime Data Explore database and U.S. Census Bureau
*Other reports state Baltimore City had 335 homicides with a murder rate of 57/100,000

As you may recall, St. Louis was one of the major cities calling for the defunding of police, so it comes as no surprise that even with homicide rates being so high in the city, the mayor, Mayor Tishaura Jones, feels as though creating a larger police presence in the downtown area is not the answer to address concerns over violent crime.

Several other cities that pushed to defund their police departments, such as Detroit, also have a high violent crime rate according to the FBI’s figures.  

The Detroit News calculated the following data when it comes to the most violent crime rates in the U.S.:

City Number of Violent Crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis, TN 15,310 2,418
Detroit, MI 14,370 2,248
St. Louis 6,017 1,995
Little Rock, AR 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend, IN 1,765 1,706
Cleveland 6,281 1,685
Milwaukee 9,407 1,629
Kansas City, MO 7,919 1,558
Lansing, MI 1,699 1,508
Springfield, MO 2,545 1,504

One may wonder how St. Louis will address their violent crime issue considering the Mayor does not feel police are necessary.

Mayor Jones said that in order to address crime in the city, it would require community members, local nonprofits and corporations to also join the discussion and bring forth suggestions that can positively impact the community.

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St. Louis mayor, who defunded the police, now claims additional police won’t stop skyrocketing violence

September 11, 2021

ST LOUIS, MO – In response to a recent report from Fox 2 Now detailing violence impacting the downtown area of the city, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones claimed that creating a larger police presence in the downtown area is not the answer to address concerns over violent crime.

On September 8th, Fox 2 Now produced a report that detailed how violent crowds of teens reportedly flooded Kiener Plaza over the preceding weekend and shot out windows of a nearby high rise.

In response to the report, Mayor Jones called the actions “upsetting” but that focusing on one area of St. Louis with an increased police presence isn’t the solution:

“It’s absolutely upsetting…We can’t just focus on one area.”

Mayor Jones delved into an anecdotal experience regarding her time residing in the northern portion of St. Louis, explaining that crime impacts all of the city and not just certain pockets:

“When I moved back to north St. Louis and my son was 9-years-old playing outside, and someone was driving down the street shooting up in the air, so crime happens in a lot of areas and I’m not trying to discount what’s happening downtown, but we have to take care of all of our citizens.”

Alderman Jack Coatar noted that downtown business owners are getting concerned over the rampant crime and are considering packing up shop and taking their businesses elsewhere. Coatar says that such a scenario would present risks for the local tax base.

Mayor Jones pushed back on that notion, saying that all of St. Louis is representative of the city’s tax base:

“The entire city is our tax base. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can protect downtown as well as protect other neighborhoods who are experiencing crime on a daily basis.”

The mayor voiced concerns of what kind of message would the local government be sending by adding a larger police presence to downtown St. Louis, possibly signaling to residents elsewhere in the city that they may be vulnerable to crime as well:

“Because when you have increased presence downtown, you send a signal to other areas that they are also vulnerable.”

Reports show that much of the violence downtown is linked to younger individuals. When Mayor Jones was asked about the possibility of entertaining a curfew, she gave the following response:

“You know, curfews are sometimes dangerous. I’d like to see what other opportunities we are offering for young people to do something productive with their time.

We have wonderful nonprofits, the Boys and Girls Club, Urban League, United Way, the YMCAs, rec centers. We already have the infrastructure. We just need to use it differently.”

Mayor Jones said that in order to address crime in the city, it would require community members , local nonprofits and corporations to also join the discussion and bring forth suggestions that  can positively impact the community.

St. Louis prosecutor quits after her signature used on court docs while she was on maternity leave

(Originally published July 24th, 2021)

ST LOUIS, MO – According to reports, St. Louis’ lead homicide prosecutor resigned from her position earlier in July after her digital signature was found on several court documents after she went on maternity leave back in May.

Prosecutor Kim Arshi reportedly began her maternity leave on May 10th, yet her electronic signature has appeared on over 20 cases after her leave began in various court documents that listed her as the lead prosecutor.

On July 20th, Arshi reportedly resigned, but hasn’t publicly commented on the matter, nor has St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office.

One of the cases that Arshi was listed as the lead prosecutor – while she was on maternity leave – resulted in St. Louis Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser dismissing a murder case against a defendant identified as Brandon Campbell.

The reason being, according to reports, was because prosecutors from Gardner’s office failed to appear at multiple hearings related to the case. In that case, Campbell was accused of fatally shooting Randy Moore back in April of 2020.

Since the case was dismissed against Campbell, he was released from custody. While Gardner’s office reportedly re-filed the murder case against Campbell, he’s currently at-large.

Judge Sengheiser had zero quarrels laying the blame on Gardner’s office, saying that had she had her proverbial house in order, Campbell wouldn’t have been released:

“The Circuit Attorney’s Office is ultimately the party responsible for protecting public safety by charging and then prosecuting those it believes commit crimes.”

“In a case like this where the Circuit Attorney’s office has essentially abandoned its duty to prosecute those it charges with crimes, the court must impartially enforce the law and any resultant threat to public safety is the responsibility of the Circuit Attorney’s Office.”

Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner did issue a statement regarding Campbell’s release due to her office’s inability to send prosecutors that aren’t on leave to scheduled hearings, blaming the incident on “internal policies and procedures regarding family medical leave” and that “corrective measures are needed to further prevent any future repeat occurrence of the incident in question.”

Court records show that Gardner’s office assigned Campbell’s case to Arshi on May 17th, a week after she’d already been on maternity leave.

While Gardner says that she’s “accountable to the public for the actions of the office”, she has yet to elaborate on what exact “internal policies and procedures” could possibly result in an assistant prosecutor on leave being assigned nearly 30 criminal cases while she’s not in office.

The victim’s mother in Campbell’s case, who didn’t want to be identified for fear that her son’s alleged killer will target her, said that Gardner’s mishandling of the case is “miserable”:

“It’s miserable. I feel like it just happened yesterday, just pain, just coming back. To think about somebody who took your son’s life and he’s out of jail. That’s horrifying. We’re living in fear.”

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