(VitalNews.org) – St. Louis, Missouri, has been ranked the third most dangerous city in the US by a real estate company that used 2019 crime data to make their assessment. Norada, based in California, blamed St. Louis’ prevalence of firearms and limited restrictions on its citizens’ ability to openly carry guns.
Others have blamed factors such as poverty, drug abuse, and homelessness for the high crime rate across the city. St. Louis holds the top spot for murder rate, with a high rate of youths committing crimes, including violent crimes.
St. Louis, along with the top two most dangerous cities, Baltimore and Detroit, is a Democrat run city, although the state is governed by a Republican. Political disagreement is rife about how to best tackle the soaring crime rates, with some, such as the now retired homicide detective Roger Murphey, claiming that the progressive Democrat policies are in fact making matters worse. Murphey found himself at loggerheads with St. Louis’ top prosecutor, Kim Gardner, a black Democrat with many progressive views. Gardner believes that crime is often caused by poverty and that the criminal justice system needs to undergo widespread and major reform. While in office she put a stop to cash bail, fought to end mass incarceration, and even stopped prosecuting crimes such as shoplifting.
After finding comments made on Facebook by Murphey, a white Republican, that Gardner felt were racist, she placed the detective on a list of officers with credibility issues. Despite this, she and her office continued to ask him to testify in various court cases that he had been involved in. Murphey, who denied that his social media posts were racist, began to refuse to testify, claiming it was hypocrisy to simultaneously call him unreliable and to rely on his evidence to secure a conviction.
Some of those cases ended with acquittals or plea deals, weakened by the lack of testimony from the veteran officer. Murphey ultimately took early retirement and left the force entirely. Gardner also faced much criticism of her handling of affairs and ended up resigning under enormous pressure.
Norada’s report makes its own suggestions as to how the city could make its streets safer. Norada’s report advocates for more youth education and mentorship programs as well as increasing gun control measures.
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