Home » Crime » Recent Articles:

Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign

February 28, 2018 Crime, Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Should Resign
Mugshot of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

The reasons why Eric Greitens should NOT resign as Missouri’s governor are few, the reasons he should are numerous. Let’s review the issue quickly:

Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on Thursday amid looming allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail following an admission of an affair last month.

He was charged in St. Louis with a first-degree felony invasion of privacy, according to the Missouri court system. 
In a statement Thursday, Greitens denied committing any crime and instead called the situation “a personal mistake” from his time prior to taking office. (CNN)

Here’s a little more detail:

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who was swept into office in 2016 with a vow to clean up a corrupt state government, was indicted and booked Thursday on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of his partly nude lover shortly before that campaign started.

It stems from a scandal that broke last month, in which Greitens was accused of threatening his lover with the photo — an allegation that isn’t mentioned in the indictment. Greitens has admitted having an extramarital affair, but has denied the rest. (Post-Dispatch)

So here’s why he shouldn’t resign:

  • An indictment isn’t proof of guilt. The prosecution & defense are both going to debate the applicability of the Missouri privacy law Greitens is accused of violating in 2015. Innocent until proven guilty by a jury of peers is an important part of our justice system.
  • This is a personal matter from before the election.

The above sound very logical until you look at it from other perspectives — here’s why he should resign:

  • Defending himself against this charge will require his full attention. Sorry Missouri…the governor is preoccupied. The day after the indictment he resigned from a leadership post with the Republican Governors Association — to focus on Missouri. More like to save his own skin.
  • The felony charge is serious. Ok. not Illinois-level serious but still possible jail time if found guilty.
  • Even some members of his own party are saying he should:

    Greitens should resign, even before his criminal case reaches a conclusion, said Reps. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, and Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville.

    “The recent news of Gov. Greitens’ indictment on a felony charge is very disturbing,” Dogan said. “While the governor is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the governor appears to have lied to the people of Missouri when he said in January that he had not taken a photograph of a woman who was undressed, blindfolded and bound.” (Springfield News-Leader)

  • His defense team wants an early trial, like May, but the St, Louis Circuit Attorney says more time is needed to conclude the investigation and prepare the case. With state primaries in August and the midterm elections in November this could hurt GOP candidates. Hmm, perhaps he shouldn’t resign — that way neoliberal Sen. Claire McCaskill has a chance at being reelected.
  • Until a jury finds him guilty or not guilty this will prevent him from doing his job. Who will slash budgets of programs helping the poor, lower taxes for the wealthy, etc?

Here are the results from the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri Gov Eric Greitens, indicted last week, is innocent until proven guilty in court. He should only resign if found guilty.

  • Strongly agree 9 [18.37%]
  • Agree 4 [8.16%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [6.12%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 3 [6.12%]
  • Somewhat disagree 2 [4.08%]
  • Disagree 16 [32.65%]
  • Strongly disagree 10 [20.41%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [4.08%]

A little more than half think Greitens should resign.

Even if he somehow continues he’ll only be in office for one term. I think we’ll see Lt Gov Mike Parson sworn in as Governor before the midterm election in November.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: We Need More Gun Control

February 21, 2018 Crime, Featured Comments Off on Readers: We Need More Gun Control
Grand Theft Auto’s gun store Ammu-Nation

Every time we have a mass shooting in America I’m reminded the rest of the world doesn’t have this same problem. How can we have such a major problem but nobody else does? They have firearms, are not immune to mental illness, play the same video games, etc.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, the country made its previously patchwork state-by-state regulations more uniform and banned some semiautomatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns. A 1987 attack in Britain led to an outright ban on the ownership of high-powered self-loading rifles and burst-firing weapons. (The Washington Post)

We have far more guns than per person than any other country. Some argue this is why they need a gun — to protect themselves from other people with guns.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. (Cornell Law School)

The above language is a big part of our problem.  The late 18th century language doesn’t work in the 21st century. So we work at the fringe.

From October 2017:

Democratic politicians routinely profess their fidelity to the Second Amendment — or rather, “a nuanced reading” of it — with all the conviction of Barack Obama’s support for traditional marriage, circa 2008. People recognize lip service for what it is.

Then there are the endless liberal errors of fact. There is no “gun-show loophole” per se; it’s a private-sale loophole, in other words the right to sell your own stuff. The civilian AR-15 is not a true “assault rifle,” and banning such rifles would have little effect on the overall murder rate, since most homicides are committed with handguns. It’s not true that 40 percent of gun owners buy without a background check; the real number is closer to one-fifth.

The National Rifle Association does not have Republican “balls in a money clip,” as Jimmy Kimmel put it the other night. The N.R.A. has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998, according to The Washington Post, equivalent to about three months of Kimmel’s salary. The N.R.A. doesn’t need to buy influence: It’s powerful because it’s popular.

Nor will it do to follow the “Australian model” of a gun buyback program, which has shown poor results in the United States and makes little sense in a country awash with hundreds of millions of weapons. Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people is a sensible goal, but due process is still owed to the potentially insane. Background checks for private gun sales are another fine idea, though its effects on homicides will be negligible: guns recovered by police are rarely in the hands of their legal owners, a 2016 study found.

In fact, the more closely one looks at what passes for “common sense” gun laws, the more feckless they appear. Americans who claim to be outraged by gun crimes should want to do something more than tinker at the margins of a legal regime that most of the developed world rightly considers nuts. They should want to change it fundamentally and permanently.

There is only one way to do this: Repeal the Second Amendment. (New York Times Opinion piece)

Repeal the 2nd amendment and adopt a new modern amendment. It’ll take generations to accomplish, if ever. In the meantime, with more guns than population, mass shootings will continue.

Results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: We don’t need more gun control legislation, just enforce existing laws/regulations.

  • Strongly agree 0 [0%]
  • Agree 8 [25%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [3.13%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [3.13%]
  • Disagree 5 [15.63%]
  • Strongly disagree [16 50%]
  • Need LESS gun control 1 [3.13%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

 

I hope the students will succeed where us adults have failed over and over.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Split On Homicide Rate

January 17, 2018 Crime, Economy, Featured Comments Off on Readers Split On Homicide Rate
Vacant & burned out storefront on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in the Wellston Loop area

Last year St. Louis had more homicides than we’d seen in a couple of decades. This year we have a new police chief, hired from within, and our mayor in her first full calendar year in office. Will they be able to lower the number of homicides this year?

Of course none of us know for sure…we can only guess. My personal feeling is until we make significant progress toward addressing economic inequality we’ll continue seeing the same level of violence. Inequality — real & perceived:

Hicks and Hicks (whose relation is unclear) found that the link between conspicuous consumption and high crime rates is much stronger than the link between income inequality and crime.

That said, when spending is visible, the rates of only certain types of crimes tend to spike. Theft and vandalism, interestingly, aren’t significantly more present, but murder and assault are. These findings actually take a bit away from Gary Becker’s hypothesis, seeing as a visibly luxurious car apparently isn’t likely to inspire theft. Instead, this study adds to what’s called “strain theory,” which is another way of making sense of criminal behavior. Strain theory suggests that when poorer people perceive inequality, they feel less of a commitment to social norms and in turn come to view crime as more acceptable. The key insight the Hicks’s study provides is that when potential criminals are giving up on social expectations, they’re doing so based on information that’s visible, not information that’s password-protected. (The Atlantic)

Placing signs in your yard saying “We’ve got to stop killing each other” or calling on a deity might make you feel better — but they don’t do a thing to address the actual problems in our high-crime neighborhoods. How you ask?

From Talk Poverty in 2015:

  1. If the private market fails to provide enough jobs to achieve full employment, the government must become the employer of last resort.
  2. When growth is below capacity and the job market is slack, apply fiscal and monetary policies aggressively to achieve full employment. Right now, this means not raising interest rates pre-emptively at the Fed and investing in public infrastructure.
  3. Take actions against countries that manage their currencies to subsidize their exports to us and tax our exports to them. Such actions can include revoking trade privileges, allowing for reciprocal currency interventions, and levying duties on subsidized goods.
  4. Support sectoral training, apprenticeships, and earn-while-you-learn programs.
  5. Implement universal pre-K, with subsidies that phase out as incomes rise.
  6. Raise the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2020 and raise the overtime salary threshold (beneath which all workers get overtime pay) from $455/week to $970/week and index it to inflation.
  7. Provide better oversight of financial markets: mandate adequate capital buffers, enforce a strong Volcker Rule against proprietary trading in FDIC-insured banks, strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and encourage vigilant oversight of systemic risk in the banking system by the Federal Reserve.
  8. Level the playing field for union elections to bolster collective bargaining while avoiding, at the state-level, anti-union, so-called “right-to-work” laws.
  9. Maintain and strengthen safety net programs like the EITC and CTC, SNAP, and Medicaid.
  10. In order to generate needed revenue and boost tax fairness: reduce the rate at which high-income taxpayers can take tax deductions, impose a small tax of financial market transactions, increase IRS funding to close the “tax gap” (the difference between what’s owed and what’s paid), and repeal “step-up basis” (a tax break for wealthy inheritors).

To many of us the choice is clear — all of the above or continue to see the violence escalate.

Here is the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Compared to 2017, the number of homicides in the City of St. Louis for 2018 will be…

  • significantly lower 1 [3.85%]
  • slightly lower 7 [26.92%]
  • about the same 7 [26.92%]
  • slightly higher 8 [30.77%]
  • significantly higher 2 [7.69%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [3.85%]

A year from now we’ll know who was right.

“Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice but tolerated or ignored economic injustice.”
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Why We Can’t Wait, 1964 (Newsweek)

Aresting and locking up more people isn’t the answer, providing an economic alternative to crime is the long-term solution.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Will Our Homicide Rate Be Less Than In 2017?

January 14, 2018 Crime, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will Our Homicide Rate Be Less Than In 2017?
Please vote below

St. Louis had a record year in 2017, just not the type of record cities like: homicides.The St. Louis Police had complied statistics as of December 19, 2017.

Number of homicides:

  • 2013: 120
  • 2014: 159
  • 2015: 188
  • 2016: 188
  • 2017: 199

Before the year was out a new chief was named and the total surpassed 200:

The homicide number for 2017 for the city of St. Louis is now standing at 203, the highest it’s ever been in more than 20 years.

The last time St. Louis had more than 200 homicides was back in 1995 when the number was 204.

The number is setting off alarms at City Hall and police headquarters, the President of the St. Louis Board of Alderman says the city is losing a population of youth to the violence. (KMOV)

So today’s poll is about homicides this year, 2018. Do you think a new chief with a new strategy will lower the rate, or will it be business as usual in tough neighborhoods?

This poll will close at 8pm, results and my thoughts on Wednesday.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: St. Louis Should Legalize Marijuana

November 1, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Crime, Drug Policy, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: St. Louis Should Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana never should have been classified as am illegal drug to begin with. So why was it? A top bureaucrat didn’t want to be out of a job!

In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol — controlled by criminals — had become even more poisonous.

So alcohol prohibition finally ended — and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.

But then — suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose — he announced he had changed his mind. (Huffington Post)

He sold the public on the idea smoking weed caused “reefer madness.”

See the full propaganda film here. The madness has been decades of prohibition on a plant with remarkable medicinal qualities.

Poster for the 1930s propaganda film ‘Reefer Madness’

From Board Bill 180 introduced last week:

WHEREAS, in 2013, Board of Aldermen addressed marijuana possession in the City of St. Louis by passing Ordinance 69429, as codified in Part IV, Chapter 11.60, Title 11 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis;

WHEREAS, at least five cities, including Breckenridge, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Maine; South Portland, Maine; Washington, D.C., and eight states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada have legalized and regulated marijuana under state and local laws;

WHEREAS, cities and states have not seen significant increases in crime since legalization and regulation of marijuana, and many have seen slight decreases in crime;

WHEREAS, the Drug Enforcement Agency found that, overall, research does not support a direct causal relationship between regular marijuana use and other illicit drug use;

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Police Department has contended that it is understaffed by over 110 officers;

WHEREAS, federal law prohibition makes enforcement of state laws on marijuana by the City of St. Louis, including by the Metropolitan Police Department, redundant and wasteful of city resources;

WHEREAS, arresting, citing, and prosecuting marijuana offenders diverts police time away from crimes with victims. Nationally, 87% of all motor vehicle thefts and over 70% of robberies go unsolved, while law enforcement pursues over half a million arrests for marijuana possession. Regulating marijuana would free up law enforcement time and resources to focus on real crime;

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the City of Saint Louis that City resources only be devoted to issues of priority in ensuring public safety and protecting the quality of life for its residents;

WHEREAS, eliminating marijuana enforcement by local police may separate the market for marijuana from the market for more harmful substances, reducing the likelihood that marijuana consumers will be exposed to opiates or other dangerous drugs when they purchase marijuana;

WHEREAS, studies have found that a 48% reduction in patients’ opioid use after three months of medical marijuana treatment, 39% reduction in their opioid dosage, and 39% stopped using opioids altogether;

WHEREAS, researchers at Columbia University’s School of Public Health found that, in states that passed medical marijuana laws, fewer drivers killed in car crashes tested positive for opioids after the laws went into effect

Yes, this should be addressed at state & federal levels, but it’s not. We can’t afford to just sit around waiting for the pushes of old myths to admit they were wrong.

This bill is sponsored by Megan E. Green (15) and co-spomsored by the following:

I urge you to thank each of these six aldermen and for you to contact the other 22 to get BB180 passed.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll I used the word “pot” because it’s an old term generally used only by those who oppose legalization.

Q: Agree or disagree: Pot is a dangerous drug, St. Louis Police should continue enforcing state & federal pot laws!

  • Strongly agree 8 [17.02%]
  • Agree 4 [8.51%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [2.13%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [2.13%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [2.13%]
  • Disagree 7 [14.89%]
  • Strongly disagree 23 [48.94%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [4.26%]

Clearly, many of those who responded still believe the propaganda.

— Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: (#4) Application request limit reached
Type: OAuthException
Code: 4
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe