ST. LOUIS – Mayor Francis Slay and his chief of staff are reacting to Saturday’s daytime murder in the Central West End.
Slay shared his thoughts, in-depth, through a several paragraph long Facebook posting that follows at the end of this story.
Via his Twitter account, the mayor of St. Louis says he’s not impressed by the pre-emptive Tweets defending guns, following Saturday’s shooting. Slay says, “Whatever the cirumstances, the shooter deserves every bad thing that is going to happen to him, and more.”
Also on Twitter, Francis Slay’s chief of staff Jeff Rainford says Crime is down 14-percent in the city of St. Louis this year— for the fifth straight year.
Rainford says crime in the Central West End is down 15-percent.
But, he says gun crimes are up—and St. Louis city police started an anti-gun violence initiative this summer, led by the department’s best commanders.
Rainford says it’s too early to see the results, but the department is on it.
The following is Mayor Francis Slay’s Facebook posting from 11:17am August 19, 2012:
“A young woman was shot in the Central West End yesterday. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this crime with the intensity it deserves – and detectives are pursuing several lines of inquiry. Whatever they discover, this tragedy – and too many others in just the past several weeks – makes me angry and frustrated and determined.
I am angry about what happened to this young woman and the terrible loss suffered by her family, former teammates, friends, and co-workers. Whatever the circumstances, it was done by someone who deserves every bad thing that happens to him from this day forward.
I am frustrated because Amerian cities, including ours, are awash in guns. Crime has trended down in St. Louis for the past six years, in almost every category except gun violence. The same story is playing out in other American cities, like Philadelphia and Chicago. The more guns there are, the more people are using their guns. But, our legislature will not let us do anything about guns. (And, if you want to see why, watch the outraged comments that a simple statement about the proliferation of guns will draw to this space.)
I am determined that we will find who did this and bring him to justice. The police have asked for the help of every resident to identify the gunman. Let’s help them.
I am also determined that, despite the legislature tying our hands, we are going to do everything we can to reduce gun violence. Earlier this summer, my office asked the SLMPD for a focused strategy against such violence, which is running contrary to more general trends of lower crime rates. Chief Isom says he is ready to talk publicly about what the department has been doing, which involves a concentration of resources aimed at both individuals and neighborhoods. That’s a good thing. I strongly beleive that city residents and businesses need to hear much more, not less, from the SLMPD.
And beyond the police department, I will continue to join my voice to the prosecutor’s to ask for higher bonds for all gun crimes. And our neighborhood stabilization efforts will be intensified to expand neighborhood involvement in public safety.”