Nasheed calls for state of emergency in St. Louis due to gun violence

  

ST. LOUIS – Sen. Jamilah Nasheed wants a state of emergency called in St. Louis due to homicide.

In a letter sent to Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday, the Democratic senator wrote that she was trying to alert Parson of “an unyielding and deadly public health threat” in St. Louis.

“The gun violence epidemic in the City of St. Louis is a public health crisis and must be treated as such,” Nasheed wrote. “That is why I am formally requesting that you declare a State of Emergency in the City of St. Louis, and make resources from the Missouri Departments of Public Safety, Health and Senior Services, and Mental Health available to local law enforcement and partner agencies.”

“To date, there have been 79 homicides in the St. Louis area in 2018,” she continued. “By the time you receive this letter that number will almost certainly have gone up.”

Sen. Nasheed compared St. Louis and the violence to living in a war zone, saying that for years now, St. Louis has consistently had the highest per-capita murder rate of any large metropolitan area in America.

“Forbes has named us the second most dangerous city in the country for violent crime. Others have proclaimed us the fourth worst place to live. This is not a picture we can continue to present to the world and expect our city to grow and prosper.”

“Thank you for your attention in this matter,” she finished. “I look forward to working with you and your administration to end the epidemic of gun violence in the City of St. Louis.”

 

Read the transcript below:

June 26, 2018

The Honorable Mike Parson
Governor of Missouri
State Capitol
201 W Capitol Ave., Room 216
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Governor Parson,

I am writing to alert you of an unyielding and deadly public health threat in the City of St. Louis.

On Monday, June 25, police responded to reports of gunfire near the 2500 block of Dodier Street and found a man dead in the street. Earlier that day, gunshots on I-70 caused a three-car crash on one of our state’s busiest highways. Meanwhile, another man was shot to death outside of a family pizza restaurant just north of downtown, in broad daylight. All of these fatal incidents occurred in a single day, a fact that is unfortunately all too common. To date, there have been 79 homicides in the St. Louis area in 2018. By the time you receive this letter that number will almost certainly have gone up.

The gun violence epidemic in the City of St. Louis is a public health crisis and must be treated as such. That is why I am formally requesting that you declare a State of Emergency in the City of St. Louis, and make resources from the Missouri Departments of Public Safety, Health and Senior Services, and Mental Health available to local law enforcement and partner agencies.

For years, St. Louis has consistently had the highest per-capita murder rate of any large metropolitan area in America. Forbes has named us the second most dangerous city in the country for violent crime. Others have proclaimed us the fourth worst place to live. This is not a picture we can continue to present to the world and expect our city to grow and prosper.

Governor, we must do everything we can to restore a sense of safety, hope and pride for the people who live here. Your commitment to their wellbeing through a State of Emergency would be a significant step forward in providing peace of mind for the families and businesses of St. Louis.

Meanwhile, a State of Emergency would allow the resources and expertise of various state agencies to be put to work in our schools, providing trauma informed care and evidence based diversion programs for our youth. By declaring a state of emergency, you would also give police officers the tools they need to prevent violent crimes.

Thank you for your attention in this matter. I look forward to working with you and your administration to end the epidemic of gun violence in the City of St. Louis.

Sincerely yours,

Jamilah Nasheed
State Senator

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.