JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The week of September 17-22 has been dominated by protests in St. Louis over the verdict that found Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, not responsible for the death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The verdict, announced on Friday, inspired protests which have required much of the Governor’s focus. Later in the week, he was able to make a handful of gubernatorial appointments and welcome the Taiwanese Agricultural delegation to Missouri.
Since the judicial decision on Friday, Greitens’ campaign promise for “peace by the second night,” was put to the test. Late Saturday night – technically Sunday morning – he tweeted a video captured by KMOV 4 News of several police officers carrying away one man. His comments reflected his tough-talk since the decision, echoing his little tolerance for vandalism.
Saturday, some criminals broke windows & thought they’d get away. They were wrong. Officers caught ‘em, cuffed ‘em, and threw ‘em in jail. pic.twitter.com/DwBwkApPUl
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) September 17, 2017
Hours later, he repeated his message on Facebook, repeating his tweet and shamed previous leaders for allowing protestors to start fires and break windows. He announced on Facebook that since he was in office, he was not going to permit vandalism in protests. Finally, Governor Greitens issued a message to criminals reading his post on social media, saying, “Criminals, listen up: you break a window, you’re going to be behind bars. It’s that simple.”
Later that same day, he honored the death of Dr. Christopher Bosche and ordered that flags in St. Louis be flown at half-staff for the following Monday. Bosche died of cancer 16 years and one day after his service in New York following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He was a member of the Ohio 1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team and then as a member of Missouri Task Force 1, where he was deployed to respond to disasters from Hurricane Katrina, a tornado in Joplin, and Hurricane Sandy.
“Chris Bosche dedicated his life to saving others—both as an emergency room physician and through his more than 20 years of medical work with the fire service,” Gretiens said. “We are tremendously grateful for dedicated lifesavers like Chris who sacrifice so much to serve their fellow citizens.”
On Monday, he posted on Facebook again attempting to talk to vandals. He also praised the efforts made by police to make over 120 arrests on Sunday night. The arrests were made en masse after police had asked the crowd to disperse. One of arrests was of Mike Faulk, a journalist from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who was covering the protest. He was arrested despite his media credentials and suffered injuries to both his legs, back, and wrist. While he was bound by zip ties, he was then sprayed in the face by a stinging substance by police, who then searched the contents of his phone, according to the attorney representing the Post-Dispatch.
“Don’t throw bricks at police. Don’t throw rocks through windows,” Greitens’ post said. “If you’re with criminals and vandals and the police ask you to leave repeatedly, then do so. Pretty simple. Some people still refuse to listen.” He added, “Last night, over 120 arrests were made. St. Louis and the state of Missouri are proud of our law enforcement officers. They’re keeping us safe.”
On Tuesday, he posted on Facebook again praising St. Louis law enforcement seemingly wanting to ensure his social media followers were aware of the work that the police were doing. Greitens highlighted their work, emphasizing their long hours and absence from their families, and evoked war-time imagery. He says he met with officers and their families and offered food to them. At the end of his post, he asked for his followers to donate to the St. Louis Police Foundation.
On Wednesday, he and his wife welcomed the Taiwanese Agricultural delegation to the Governor’s Mansion. The delegation has been traveling the United States to discuss multimillion dollar agricultural trade deals with specific states. The Taiwanese and Iowan government have agreed to a $2.8 billion dollar deal over the course of two years to purchase corn, soybeans, and wheat. On Thursday, Idaho agreed to $576 million deal. On Friday, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Agriculture Director Chris Chinn signed a letter of intent to purchase soybeans, corn, and other feed grain products, estimated to be over $1.05 billion and as much as $2.3 billion by 2019.
Later that day, he appointed Rep. Paul Fitzwater to the Board of Probation and Parole, filling one of two vacancies on the board. To be on the board, Fitzwater resigned from the Missouri House. While serving on the House, he was the Chair of the Corrections and Public Institution Committee.
“We are excited to have Paul join the Board of Probation and Parole, and for the experience he brings as Chairman of the Corrections and Public Institution Committee,” Grietens said in a press release, “While he will be missed in the legislature, I know he will serve our state with great integrity.”
On Friday, the Governor appointed Bob Brinkmann and Terry Ecker to the State Highways and Transportation Commission. Brinkmann is the CEO of R.G. Brinkmann Company, a construction management and general contracting company. Ecker, the president of Ecker Farms Inc., served as Agriculture Liaison for Congressman Sam Graves’ Office.