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Nuisance, or Nonsense?

Rosetta Watson
Carolina Hidalgo
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Rosetta Watson moved to Maplewood, Mo. to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend. But when he found her – and subsequently beat her up – Watson called for help. But this kept happening, and town officials took notice. Eventually, they told Watson the police service calls to her home constituted a public nuisance, and as punishment, they kicked her out of town. Watson is now suing the city in federal courts, and she has the backing of local and national legal and housing advocates.
Nuisance, or Nonsense? (Part 1)
The story of a woman who was kicked out of Maplewood after cops came to her house too many times to deal with an abusive ex-boyfriend.

 

Part 1: On this episode...

Maplewood, Mo. is a cozy little suburb at the border of St. Louis City. It has great schools, a cute downtown and one of the region’s most celebrated breweries. But in the background, some housing advocates say the town’s officials are turning public nuisance laws against people of color, the mentally ill and victims of domestic abuse.

In the first of a multi-part episode, hosts Tim and Kameel kick off the podcast’s fourth season by digging into these allegations and tell the story of a woman who was kicked out of Maplewood after cops came to her house too many times to deal with an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Nuisance, or Nonsense? (Part 2)
Town officials push back and say there’s nothing wrong with the way they determine who is and isn’t a nuisance in their town.

 

Part 2: On this episode...

Last episode, you heard about serious allegations against officials in Maplewood. Housing advocates say public nuisance laws in the leafy suburb of St. Louis are being used against the poor, people of color and victims of domestic abuse.

But in this episode, town officials push back and say there’s nothing wrong with the way they determine who is and isn’t a nuisance in their town. We also hear more about Rosetta Watson, the woman suing in federal court after she says she was kicked out of Maplewood for calling police too many times for protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Nuisance, or Nonsense? (Part 3)
Ms. Watson is set to receive a six-figure settlement and the town’s city council voted to move forward with changes to their nuisance ordinance.

 

Part 3: On this episode...

We’re interrupting our normal storytelling podcast schedule for...some breaking news. Earlier this season we brought you the story of Rosetta Watson, a woman suing in federal court after she says she was kicked out of Maplewood, Mo. for calling police too many times for protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Two days ago we got a tip that Maplewood had settled with Ms. Watson, who is set to receive a six-figure settlement. And the town’s city council voted to move forward with changes to their nuisance ordinance. On this episode, we bring you the latest news out of the leafy suburb of Maplewood.

MUSIC: ClassicBeatz, Trifeckta, Free Music Archive

Nuisance, or Nonsense? (Part 4)
We catch up with Rosetta Watson, give her case national context and chart out what may come next for people challenging nuisance and crime free laws.

 

Part 4: On this episode...

Rosetta Watson has won her fight against the city of Maplewood, Mo., which kicked her out of town after she generated too many calls to police while dealing with an abusive ex-boyfriend. Now what? We catch up with her, give her case some national context and chart out what may come next for the people challenging these nuisance and crime free laws.

MUSIC: ClassicBeatz, Trifeckta

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Alona served as We Live Here's associate producer in 2018.
Kameel Stanley co-hosted and co-produced the We Live Here podcast—covering race, class, power, and poverty in the St. Louis Region—from 2015 to 2018.
Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.

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