John Gaskin III | St. Louis Public Radio

John Gaskin III

Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County NAACP announced Friday that John Bowman Sr. is its newest president.

Bowman has served as interim president since April, following the suspension of former president John Gaskin III. He came under fire for supporting a bill to change Title IX law and his paid consulting work for Better Together. 

After only five months as the president of the St. Louis County NAACP, the national association suspended him for violating its bylaws.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County NAACP is throwing its support behind the group’s suspended president even as the national association presses on with an investigation into the leader’s behavior.

“It is my hope that after John has his opportunity to prove the type of work he was doing, which was really good work, he can get made whole again and made president again,” interim president John Bowman said.

On April 22, 2019, St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City and other black political leaders announced their position on the NAACP's endorsement for the city-county merger. The same day they called for John Gaskin III to resign as pres
File photo | Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:45 a.m., April 23, with comment from a Unite STL spokesperson — More than 30 African American political leaders from the St. Louis metro area are calling for the resignation of St. Louis County NAACP President John Gaskin III.

The announcement came Monday afternoon at the Cool Valley City Hall, several days after political leaders accused Gaskin of having a conflict of interest after he revealed he is being paid by Unite STL. The organization is the political arm pushing for the Better Together’s city-county merger recommendations. Gaskin announced the St. Louis County NAACP was in favor of the merger on April 18.

After only five months as the president of the St. Louis County NAACP, the national association suspended him for violating its bylaws.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

John Gaskin III, the new St. Louis County NAACP president, says there are two local civil rights issues he wants to address: community policing and employment.

Gaskin, 26, announced Friday that he would be become president of the branch. He replaces longtime President Esther Haywood. The former Missouri legislator is 78.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson. 

What he said he saw was striking: Police from neighboring municipalities had formed a “human shield” around the scene. Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was screaming and crying over not knowing what happened to her 18-year-old son. And Brown’s body was still in the street after being shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.