The Missouri General Assembly’s 19-member Black Legislative Caucus is asking that Ferguson drop the charges for non-violent protesters who have been arrested since demonstrations began following the Aug. 9 shooting that killed Michael Brown.
In a release issued Monday, the caucus called for the city to set up “a restorative justice plan in lieu of municipal fines for the non-violent protesters that have been arrested.”
An outdated Missouri law that allows police to shoot an unarmed fleeing felon could help Officer Darren Wilson avoid an indictment and prison, legal experts say.
If St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch advises the grand jury to follow the outdated law, he would be reducing the chances of an indictment. Wilson could be viewed as acting in line with state law when he shot unarmed Michael Brown after he began to flee.
Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, the only announced Republican candidate for governor, has the support of one of the state’s political icons who used to be her boss: Former U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo.
Bond and his wife, Linda Bond, are special guests at a reception/fundraiser Tuesday in Kansas City for Hanaway.
Before she ran for office herself, Hanaway worked for Bond in the mid-1990s. He has been a key mentor for her, and among those backing her presidential appointment in 2005 as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, based in St. Louis.
Many protest leaders in and around Ferguson have expressed doubt that the grand jury will indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.
But St. Louis Alderman Antonio French says he thinks an indictment is possible.
“I have not given up hope that there will be an indictment,” French said. “I think the evidence warrants at least a trial. And I think ultimately that’s what the community needs in order to heal the long-term wounds.”
French does agree with the general consensus that if the grand jury does not indict Wilson there will be large-scale protests.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says President Obama’s strategy on Iraq seems to be working and should be allowed more time to succeed. McCaskill, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, was a guest Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
When asked whether the U.S. should think about sending American troops into Iraq, the Missouri Democrat said she thinks air strikes have been effective in slowing ISIS down, and that she supports forming partnerships with moderate Sunnis.
When Better Together formed last year, it was already planning to examine how the region polices itself — especially because St. Louis County has so many different departments that patrol towns and cities.
But the review became more than just a theoretical exercise after the shooting death of Michael Brown. The roughly 60 police departments throughout St. Louis County underwent intense scrutiny for aggressive ticketing, little racial diversity and the targeting of African Americans. There have been widespread calls for substantial changes.
Carrying signs that read “Save Our Service,” dozens of postal workers braved the cold to march in front of the main post office in downtown St. Louis Friday. They’re afraid that overnight mail delivery will cease to exist next year when up to 82 mail processing centers are scheduled to close nationwide, including those in Cape Girardeau and Springfield, Mo.
The St. Louis region looks and feels as though it’s preparing for a big storm. When you drive down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, most of the store fronts are covered with plywood. Some nearby municipalities are even telling residents stock up on food, gas and supplies. All of this is in preparation for a possible storm of a different kind.