St. Louis Public Radio News
6:09 pm
Mon November 23, 2009

Residents rally against crime as controversial report ranks St. Louis as second-most dangerous

St. Louis – About two dozen residents of the Fountain Park neighborhood in north St. Louis gathered to protest rising violence Monday, the same day a controversial yearly study ranked St. Louis the second most dangerous city in the United States.

The report from CQ Press uses crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to rank all cities with more than 75,000. But the FBI cautions that cities measure crime in different ways. And when the entire metropolitan area is included, St. Louis ranks 103rd. A spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay called the report "bogus."

Anna Nicholas, who helped put the rally together, said it made a statement that the violence must stop.

"It shows people are concerned," she said. "And I didn't know we were going to have ten people, but you can look around and see that we have more than 10 people." Parents, she said, need to get involved in the lives of their children, but she would also like to see more resources for neighborhood programs.

Nicholas would not comment on the mayor's reaction to the report. And Rev. Derrick Perkins, of the Centennial Christian Church in north city, said he's more concerned about stopping the violence.

"If we don't have the resources to really help children, the community, unfortunately, has some negative resources they can reach out to them and pretty much get their attention," he said.

The rally was part of a network of events led by the National Action Network and the Reverend Al Sharpton in nine cities across the country.