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.

Ways to Connect

(courtesy of Uber)

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission has asked a St. Louis County judge to force Uber to stop operating in St. Louis.

The regulatory body on Monday filed suit against the company, 19 alleged UberX drivers, and anyone else who may have driven a vehicle for UberX, saying the parties are operating in direct violation of the Commission's vehicle-for-hire code. 

Mayor Francis Slay, left, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson unveil the new Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Mayor Francis Slay will join his counterparts from dozens of American cities in Washington, D.C. this week for the attorney general's summit on violent crime.

His trip comes as the city continues to battle an increase in crime. The latest numbers show crime is 10 percent higher in 2015 compared to the same time last year, though the increase has slowed down each month this year. St. Louis is on pace for about 200 homicides, a barrier it hasn't broken in nearly 20 years.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

This July 31, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of a 20-month investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court that sent a jolt through the system.

"The investigation found that the court fails to provide constitutionally required due process to children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against black children, all in violation of the 14th Amendment," assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a conference call.

A line of police face off with protesters on West Florissant Ave., last Sunday night.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Revised following conference call - The St. Louis County police department is falling short of best practices in several critical areas.

That is the conclusion of the latest report on policing post-Ferguson released Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. The voluntary review, requested by Chief Jon Belmar more than a year ago, found 50 areas where the department can improve, and includes 109 recommendations.

Alderman Lyda Krewson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome St. Louis Alderman Lyda Krewson to the show.

The Moberly native has represented the city’s 28th Ward since 1997. Her ward includes some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, part of ‘The Loop’ and the Central West End business districts.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A third federal review of policing in the St. Louis area is due out this week.

The Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, an arm of the Department of Justice, began what's called a collaborative reform initiative with the St. Louis County police last September, at the request of Chief Jon Belmar.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Starting Thursday, more than 150 people from all parts of the criminal justice system with gather at Washington University to ponder a radical remake of the way this country uses incarceration.

The conference is the first major undertaking for the Smart Decarceration Initiative. Carrie Pettus-Davis, an assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, is one of the organizers.

California Department of Corrections

Is the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri suing the right person in its effort to crack the veil of secrecy around executions in the state?

That question is in the hands of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, following oral arguments Tuesday in St. Louis.

Wellspring Church in Ferguson, September 21, 2015.
Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 1:20 p.m., Sept. 22, with audio - Change can come to the St. Louis region, but people throughout the area have to be willing to do the work.

That was the message Monday night at a roundtable at Wellspring Church in Ferguson looking at the 189 recommendations outlined in the report of the Ferguson Commission.


Want to hear Part Two of the two-part "Ferguson Commission: Where Do We Go From Here?" panel? You can find it here

(courtesy of Uber)

Updated 1:08 p.m., Sept. 21 with Uber comments - The head of Uber's St. Louis operations says he does not think the legal fight to establish service in the city and St. Louis county will be settled in the near future.

"This is more than a few policy issues," Uber General Manager Sagar Shah said in an interview with  St. Louis Public Radio.

"This is about the lack of understanding or the lack of the ability to welcome new competitive industries into the market."

Mayor Francis Slay, along with officials from his administration and non-profit partners, announces new resources targeted at inmates awaiting trial at the Medium Security Institution on Sept. 8, 2015.
Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is hoping a new program targeting young offenders who are awaiting trial will help get the rising crime rate under control.

Mayor Francis Slay, along with other members of his administration and representatives of social services agencies, gathered outside the city's Medium Security Institution Tuesday morning to launch "From Prison to Prosperity." It's designed to help inmates between the ages of 17 and 24 who are awaiting trial at the MSI -- the first program meant for those who have not yet gone to prison.

(Sarah Kellogg/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Jewish New Year begins at sundown Sunday. It's the start of 10 days of prayer and reflection for lay people and clergy alike.

Susan Talve, of Central Reform Congregation, and Rori Picker Neiss of Bais Abraham, an Orthodox synagogue, have much to reflect upon. Each in her own way emerged in the Jewish year 5775 as a leading voice in the protests inspired by the death of Michael Brown.

They sat down with St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann to consider what the past year means.

Protesters are greeted by a wall of police officers after a march to the Ferguson Police department on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI / UPI

A report from the Department of Justice on how police responded to protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown last summer has drawn praise and criticism from individuals who were involved in the protests on all sides.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A report by the U.S. Department of Justice examines a chaotic and often uncoordinated response to the protests that erupted after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014.

The Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services on Wednesday released its after-action report on the police response to the 17 days between when Brown was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and his funeral.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to look at reforms to the municipal court system will study whether some of the courts should be consolidated.

The group released its interim report Tuesday. The two-page document outlines the areas the group plans to study over the next three months, and the material it has already gathered to inform its work.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Aldermen completed a harrowing process to raise the city’s minimum wage – a decision that supporters say will help the city's low-income workers.

But few believe that Friday’s affirmative vote marks the last word in the minimum wage saga, especially if businesses or business groups pursue legal action to invalidate the newly enacted ordinance.

Protesters outside St. Louis County headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 call for reforms of the municipal court system.
File photo by Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with comments from the Municipal Court Improvement Committee — The city of Jennings has agreed to make major changes to the way it operates its municipal court.

The changes are part of a proposed settlement to a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of 10 individuals who say they were held in the Jennings jail solely because they could not pay a traffic fine. Federal judge Carol E. Jackson must still formally accept the terms for them to take effect.

The 2006 World's Series was a winner for the Cardinals.
Matt Dimmic | Flickr

A long-running legal fight over who can see the documents generated during an internal police investigation is over.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case of 35 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers who wanted to block the release of information from an investigation into the misuse of tickets to the 2006 World Series. That decision lets stand a lower court ruling that said the officers in question had no expectation of privacy around the documents. It was not immediately clear when the documents would be made public.

Ferguson October protesters
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and other legal groups are blasting a decision by the attorney for St. Louis County to charge Ferguson protesters, many almost a year after they were arrested.

But St. Louis County's counselor is defending the process for charging dozens of people — including a couple of  journalists.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from attorneys, and the cities of St. Louis and St. Peters.

Getting caught on camera running a red light in St. Louis will no longer result in a fine.

In a 6-1 opinion issued Tuesday, the court called the city's ordinance governing red-light cameras unconstitutional because it assumes the owner of the car was the one driving the car at the time of the violation.

Brittany Ferrell (left) and her wife Alexis Templeton shortly after leaving the St. Louis County jail on August 12, 2015
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of the most familiar faces on the front lines of protests in Ferguson and elsewhere are facing several charges for their conduct during a protest Monday on Interstate 70.

Both Brittany Ferrell, 28, and her wife, 21-year-old Alexis Templeton, face peace disturbance and first-degree trespass charges for being part of a group that blocked traffic in both lanes of the interstate near the Blanchette Bridge for 30 minutes on Monday near the height of rush hour. Both of those are misdemeanors.

new stadium, St. Louis Rams
Courtesy HOK | 360 Architecture

Mayor Francis Slay is standing by his decision not to appeal a judge's ruling throwing out a required citywide vote on public financing for sports stadiums, despite a pledge to "vigorously defend the law."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Protesters on West Florissant surround a police car on August 9, 2014. Looting broke out shortly afterward.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last year’s shooting death of Michael Brown was the end of a police encounter that lasted no more than five minutes.

The aftermath shook the region for weeks. In that time, hundreds of officers from police departments across the region would deploy to Ferguson under what would become known as the Unified Command.

Two members of that command -- Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department -- sat down to reflect on what they have learned in the past 12 months.

Gov. Jay Nixon announces that he has asked the state commission overseeing police officer training to update standards around tactical training, cultural competency, and officer wellness on August 6, 2015. Behind him is Mo. State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Training standards for police officers in Missouri will get an overhaul for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that he will ask the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to issue new rules around tactical training, fair and impartial policing, and the well-being of officers.

Mailers distributed by Reinvest STL in support of a $180 million bond issue.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A $180 million bond to fund capital expenditures and upgrades to buildings in St. Louis has failed.

Proposition 1 received 61 percent of the vote in unofficial results, but the city charter requires a two-thirds majority for bond issues. Turnout was below 10 percent.

Jane Dueker at the Missouri Supreme Court April 8, 2015
Pool photo by Karen Elshout | Missouri Lawyers Media

Updated Aug. 4 with Supreme Court ruling -- The reforms required by the passage of Senate Bill 5 don't start taking effect for another six months. But the municipal reform legislation is already having an impact.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday chucked the Missouri Municipal League's challenge to the way limits on municipal revenue were enforced, saying the passage of the reform measure made the League's arguments moot.

A sampling of mailers sent by Reinvest STL, a committee supporting the city's $180 million bond issue.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Voters in St. Louis will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether the city should borrow $180 million to take care of long-delayed maintenance and other capital needs.

The general obligation bond got on the August ballot at the last possible minute. If it passes, bonds will be sold in 2015, and again in 2017. The city estimates the owner of a $125,000 house would pay about $50 more in property taxes each year.

Stadium Approach from the Southeast
HOK | 360 Architecture

Updated with comments from Dave Peacock, John Ammann, and Mayor Slay - A St. Louis judge has ruled that city voters do not have a right to weigh in on public spending for a proposed new football stadium north of Laclede's Landing.

"Judgment shall be, and hereby is, entered in favor of Plaintiff Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority and against Defendant City of St. Louis on Plaintiff’s Petition for Declaratory Judgment. City Ordinance 66509, Chapter 3.91 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, is hereby declared INVALID."

Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice
YouTube | Fair Housing conference

Updated 4:30 p.m. with comments from Civil Rights Division and react - A 20-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice has found the St. Louis County Family Court violates the constitutional rights of children in its custody.

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