Civil Rights

Chris Sevier testifies during a House Committee on General Laws hearing

He was deemed a ‘security concern’ in the Missouri Capitol. He’s back proposing bills

BY: - March 10, 2021

During a recent hearing on his bill to establish the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” state Rep. Jeff Coleman repeatedly referenced experts sitting behind him in the audience who would be better able to address questions about the legislation’s legality. The first of these experts to testify was Chris Sevier, an Iraqi war veteran, Tennessee […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Transgender youth speak against Missouri proposal to restrict sports teams by gender

BY: - March 3, 2021

Brandon Boulware remembers the moment he realized he wasn’t allowing his transgender daughter to be who she is. Boulware said he wouldn’t let her play with toys or wear clothes intended for girls, and would make her get short haircuts. He wanted to keep her from getting teased, but also avoid the inevitable questions he […]

Missouri Supreme Court denies Lamar Johnson a new trial

BY: - March 2, 2021

Nearly two years ago, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed a motion for a new trial for Lamar Johnson, who has now spent 26 years in jail.  Gardner alleged former prosecutors and police fabricated evidence to get Johnson’s murder conviction in 1995. However, a circuit judge ruled Gardner didn’t have the power to file […]

Missouri Republicans look to reinstate voter ID requirement

BY: - February 25, 2021

About 137,700 registered voters in Missouri did not have a state-issued identification in 2017, according to an analysis from the Secretary of State’s Office.  Another 140,000 voters had expired IDs, and 2,000 more voters had forfeited their driver’s licenses. Under a bill passed Wednesday in the Missouri House, those registered voters would either have to get […]

protests in st. louis in 2017

Bill increasing penalties for protesters wins initial approval in Missouri Senate

BY: - February 23, 2021

Republican state Senators advanced sweeping legislation early Tuesday morning aimed at penalizing protestors who block streets, while also providing further protections for law enforcement under investigation for misconduct or excessive force. The bill also aims to prevent municipalities from decreasing the budgets for law enforcement agencies in Missouri by more than 12 percent over five […]

Sara Hart Weir and Kasey Kittell stand side by side smiling

For disability-rights advocate advising Missouri vaccine plan, the work is personal

BY: - February 19, 2021

Over two decades ago, Kasey Kittell opened Sara Hart Weir’s eyes to a population of people who are often overlooked. Kittell was born with Down syndrome, a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome that can cause a range of developmental and intellectual disabilities. The two met when Kittell was entering high school […]

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

BY: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery, the same day that House Democrats held a hearing on legislation that would set up a reparations commission. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by […]

With gun deaths climbing, Missouri lawmakers push to loosen firearm restrictions

BY: - February 15, 2021

While Missouri continues to struggle with one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the country, Republican lawmakers are advancing a litany of bills aimed at further loosening the state’s gun laws.  One proposal would allow guns on college campuses, while another would ban churches from prohibiting guns in places of worship. Others aim […]

Gov. Parson signs bill to approve $324 million for rental assistance

BY: - February 11, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson signed into law Thursday legislation allocating $324 million in funding for rental assistance — part of the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in December. The funds are available for both tenants and landlords through the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC).  The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program includes up to 12 months […]

‘Road to hell’: Students who faced abuse at Missouri boarding schools call for action

BY: - February 10, 2021

Thrown to the ground and restrained for hours. Forced to eat food they had thrown up. Silenced with duct-tape over their mouths. Beaten without immediate medical care. Those were just some of instances of the horrific physical and sexual abuse former residents, parents and staff described witnessing in youth residential facilities within Missouri and across […]

Senate resolution condemns 1852 Missouri Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott case

BY: - February 9, 2021

For two brief periods of his life, Dred Scott was a free man. The first period of freedom began with the decision of a St. Louis jury in January 1850 and continued until March 1852. During that time, Scott and his wife, Harriet, were emancipated because Missouri law recognized they were freed when their owners […]

Federal appeals court sides with journalists who were tear-gassed in Ferguson protests

BY: - February 6, 2021

On the fifth day of the Ferguson protests in August 2014, St. Charles County sent their SWAT team in armored military vehicles to help block off West Florissant Avenue, which was considered “Ground Zero” for the protests.  Ash-har Quraishi, Marla Cichowski and Sam Winslade — reporters who were working for Al Jazeera America news network […]