Rev. Darryl Gray | St. Louis Public Radio

Rev. Darryl Gray

Protesters used a sustained volley of fireworks against police Saturday night at a protest in downtown Ferguson May 30, 2020. Police eventually fired smoke grenades back.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7 a.m. May 31 with police information.

Protesters brought havoc and destruction to Ferguson’s police headquarters and the city’s downtown at the end of a night of protests against police brutality mirrored around the nation Saturday.

The demonstrations and their ensuing vandalism were sparked by the death last week of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer restrained him by kneeling on his neck. Protests began in that city and have since spread across the country.

Rev. Darryl Gray distributes masks to St. Louis City churches on May 26, 2020.
Rev. Darryl Gray

As the region slowly returns to some semblance of normal, many churches are preparing to reopen in June.

In an effort to keep congregations healthy, the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition, the Baptist Minister’s Union, and 24:1 Clergy Coalition are distributing more than 125,000 masks to St. Louis city and County churches that plan to resume services next month.

The Rev. Darryl Gray, the political advisor for the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition, said the groups have been distributing masks since Tuesday, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 150 churches throughout the region showed up to claim masks.

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of supporters at Kiener Plaza Park in downtown St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. (March 7, 2020)
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Former Vice President Joe Biden needed a big win in Missouri’s presidential primary to cement himself as the clear frontrunner in the Democratic scramble for the White House.

On Tuesday, Biden got that victory with a margin so large that it may signal an end to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential hopes. And Missouri Democrats hope that Biden’s decisive win can give them the boost they need in November.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced the plan for a $15 hourly wage for the lowest paid county employees on Jan. 30, 2020.
St. Louis County

Updated on Jan. 31 with new information on negotions between SEIU Local 1 and contractors.

The janitorial bargaining team representing SEIU Local 1 has reached a tentative agreement with Clean-Tech, the contractor that employs the union's members to clean buildings around metro St. Louis, including St. Louis County government buildings. The union is not releasing details, but members will vote on whether to accept the tentative agreement in the coming days.

Original Story from Jan. 30:

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Thursday a proposal to raise some county government employees’ hourly wages to $15 by 2022. 

Officials estimate that implementing the change will cost $2.9 million over a three-year period. The pay will be increased incrementally starting with $13 for 2020. Page said the change will take several months to take effect.

The Rev. Darryl Gray helps organizers lead protest chants.
File Photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri clergy members say they are “cautiously optimistic” after meeting with Gov. Mike Parson in St. Louis to find ways to address gun violence in the state.

Parson would not back down on rejecting calls for a special session on gun violence. He said the main way to address it is by working at the federal, state and local levels.

St. Louis faith leaders, elected officials and community leaders gathered at Lane Tabernacle CME Church to address the city's gun violence among children. August 30, 2019
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Two days after Gov. Mike Parson rejected calls for a special session to address gun violence, elected officials, faith leaders and doctors in St. Louis asked him to reconsider. 

On Friday, more than two dozen St. Louis leaders urged Parson to seek a special session so lawmakers could pass legislation allowing municipalities to enact their own gun regulations. That's unlikely, given that a state law bars cities from passing local gun control laws.

They also called for an emergency meeting between local elected officials and community leaders before the Legislature meets in September to consider overriding Parson’s vetoes of bills that state lawmakers passed in the regular session.

Attendees at Friday's "People's Ribbon Cutting" celebrate near the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis.
Wiley Price I St. Louis American

Darryl Gray made something abundantly clear at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Arch grounds: The diverse gathering of elected officials, candidates and St. Louisans wasn’t a do-over.

After a group of white officials cut the ribbon in front of the Arch’s new visitors’ center and museum sparked public outcry Tuesday, Gray emphasized that Friday’s event was aimed at showcasing St. Louis’ diversity — and sending a message that racial and ethnic minorities need a place at the decision-making table.

LaShell Eikerenkoetter and Rev. Darryl Gray have each been arrested during the Stockley protests.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Rev. Darryl Gray marched alongside iconic civil rights figures, including Ralph Abernathy, who succeeded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.