Rachel Lippmann

Reporter

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

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Vonderrit Myers
6:54 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

After Fatal Off-Duty Police Shooting, Investigation And Reflection Begin

A crowd protests the shooting death of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers by an off-duty St. Louis police officer on Oct. 8, 2014.
Credit Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis circuit attorney is pledging a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers. Myers was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis by an off-duty police officer.

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Shaw neighborhood violence
12:37 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Fatal Shooting By Off-Duty St. Louis Police Officer Sets Off Protest In Shaw Neighborhood

A crowd gathers at Klemm Street and Shaw Boulevard at the scene of the fatal shooting Wednesday night.
Credit Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 1:40 p.m. with additional information.

A St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer working a second job with a private security company shot and killed a young black man, 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. The incident happened in the Shaw neighborhood in south St. Louis Wednesday night and drew a tense crowd that shouted at police and beat on their cruisers.

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Metropolitan Taxicab Commission
5:23 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Uber Black Gets License To Operate In St. Louis

Credit (courtesy of Uber)

Uber has made it to St. Louis.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission on Tuesday approved a license for the company's "Black" service, which allows people to use a cell phone app to call for an already-licensed premium sedan. It works much the same way as the apps that many area cab companies use for reserving taxis.  

Two and a half months ago, the region’s taxi commission changed its regulations to accommodate Uber -- changes that had taken months to negotiate.

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Michael Brown Shooting
6:04 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Judge Rules Against Police Enforcing 'Five-Second Rule' In Ferguson

Protesters in Ferguson on Aug. 15, just days before the 'five-second rule' took effect.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren I St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

A federal judge in St. Louis has ruled that police in Ferguson cannot enforce what became known as the "five-second rule."  

The rule was a crowd-control strategy to respond to violence in Ferguson developed by the St. Louis County Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, along with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  Officers had noticed that whenever marchers paused, crowds would spread into the streets, blocking vehicle and foot traffic.

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Barrier vs. Vasterling
4:12 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Koster Will Not Appeal Ruling Ordering State To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Credit via Wikimedia Commons

(Updated at 5:45 p.m. with quotes from the ACLU and additional information.)

Attorney General Chris Koster will not appeal a Kansas City judge's ruling that ordered the state of Missouri to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples who wed outside of the state. 

"Our national government is founded upon principles of federalism – a system that empowers Missouri to set policy for itself, but also obligates us to honor contracts entered into in other states," Koster said in a statement.  Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."

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Diversity In Policing
8:52 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

A More Diverse Police Department Starts With Community Conversations, Koster Says

Police and protesters in Ferguson on Sept. 23. The diversity of police departments has come under scrutiny since the shooting death of Michael Brown almost two months ago.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer nearly two months ago once again shed light on the deep racial divisions that exist in the St. Louis region. Nowhere is that more apparent than in local police departments, which often don’t look like the communities they serve. 

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Six Officers
4:23 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

The Town Of Flordell Hills Gets Its Own Police Department

Flordell Hills, which is home to 822 residents in less than a square mile, now has its own police department.
Credit Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

It's home to just 822 residents living on 69 acres, but the city of Flordell Hills is getting its own police department. 

The St. Louis County suburb's contract with its slightly larger neighbor, Country Club Hills, expires at midnight Tuesday. Some of Flordell Hills' six officers had already been patrolling the streets of the town, which sits between Jennings Station and West Florissant roads.

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Ferguson protests
7:21 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Federal Judge Weighing Whether To Halt 'Move Along' Rule In Ferguson

Police and protesters face off in Ferguson during the marches in August.
Credit Stephanie Lecci

A federal judge in St. Louis said Monday she will rule "as soon as possible" on whether it was constitutional for police officers to prevent protesters in Ferguson from stopping and lingering on public sidewalks in August.  

Judge Catherine Perry heard more than seven hours of testimony Monday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri against the St. Louis County Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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Sylvester Caldwell
1:18 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Pine Lawn Mayor Faces Federal Extortion Charges

Pine Lawn mayor Sylvester Caldwell
Credit City of Pine Lawn website

Updated with a copy of the indictment and additional information.

The mayor of a small North County municipality has been arrested on federal extortion charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took Sylvester Caldwell into custody on Thursday. He'll be arraigned on a single count of interference with commerce by extortion on Monday. 

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Use Of Force
12:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

After Two Police Shootings, Questions Emerge About Use Of Force

Protestors and police face off outside the Ferguson police department on Aug. 11, two days after Michael Brown was shot and killed.
Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The shooting deaths of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson and 25-year-old Kajieme Powell in St. Louis have focused a bright spotlight on the authority that police officers have to use force – sometimes deadly – to keep themselves and others safe.

Fatal use of force encounters are rare. But the questions raised when they happen reflect society’s broader struggles.

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