Criminal Justice

What state control could mean for the St. Louis Police Department

BY: - March 24, 2023

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  In a vote watched closely in Kansas City, Missourians approved a statewide ballot measure in 2012 to return control of the St. Louis Police Department to the city itself. Just over a decade later, the Missouri legislature is debating multiple pieces of legislation to reverse […]

Missouri legislation seeks to allow guns in places of worship

BY: - March 23, 2023

Missouri Republicans are making a push to allow firearms to be carried inside religious establishments and lessen restrictions on access to firearms. House Bill 485, heard in the House Emerging Issues Committee Wednesday evening, would override existing Missouri law that restricts the possession of a concealed carry firearm in places of worship without consent or […]

Trump’s possible arrest by Manhattan DA blasted by U.S. House GOP leaders

BY: - March 21, 2023

Former President Donald Trump’s claim that he would be arrested Tuesday had not materialized by early evening on the East Coast, but U.S. House Republicans harshly criticized any such move as an abuse of prosecutorial authority. In an all-caps post to his social media site, Truth Social, on Saturday, Trump predicted that he would be […]

Courts hopeful Missouri lawmakers can provide funds to help with marijuana expungements

BY: - March 13, 2023

After three months of looking through old marijuana charges, Boone County Circuit Court Clerk Christy Blakemore — along with clerks and judges around the state — has come to a realization. There’s no quick way to wipe those records clean.  And, it’s going to take a lot more money for overtime to go through the […]

Missouri lawsuit accuses Torch Electronics of violating racketeering law

BY: - March 11, 2023

A class action lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to do what law enforcement and legislators have been reluctant to do – shut down Torch Electronics, the vendor behind many of the video machines in convenience stores offering payoffs of hundreds or thousands of dollars. The lawsuit in Missouri’s Western District, which accuses […]

Open-container law for marijuana gets hearing in Missouri House

BY: - March 10, 2023

A Missouri House committee discussed a bill Thursday meant to mirror Illinois’ open-container law for having marijuana in vehicles. The bill from Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, would require all marijuana products in vehicles to be kept in odor-proof and child-proof containers.  “I don’t claim to be an expert on marijuana – I’ve never inhaled,” Haden […]

Missouri House gives initial approval for stricter sex trafficking laws

BY: - March 8, 2023

Missouri’s laws surrounding the trafficking of minors might be changing after a bill received initial approval by legislators Tuesday. House members debated a bill proposed by Rep. Jeff Coleman, R-Grain Valley, that would modify the offense of “enticing a child.” The current statute defines a victim as a child less than 15 years old, but […]

Federal judge rules Missouri’s ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act’ unconstitutional

BY: - March 7, 2023

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a controversial Missouri law — known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act — that penalizes police for enforcing federal gun laws. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Wimes ruled that the 2021 Missouri law is unconstitutional and “invalid, null, void, and of no effect.” “State and local law enforcement […]

Federal subpoenas target records of Missouri nonprofits involved in child nutrition program

BY: - March 7, 2023

A federal grand jury issued three subpoenas to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in December demanding records about a pair of St. Louis-area nonprofits and their involvement in a federal child nutrition program.  The state turned over the subpoenas to The Independent as part of a request under the Sunshine Law. Issued […]

Missouri House debates legislation targeting catalytic converter thefts

BY: - March 2, 2023

A House committee considered three bills Wednesday that seek to tamp down on catalytic converter thefts. Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, is sponsoring legislation that would make it a felony to possess a catalytic converter with the intent to sell it. Catalytic converters filter out harmful pollutants from vehicle emissions, and thieves target them because they are […]

Missouri prosecutors decry bill to supplant Kim Gardner as St. Louis circuit attorney

BY: - February 27, 2023

A pair of veteran prosecuting attorneys panned legislation targeting the authority of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner Monday, with one calling the bill “unnecessary and counterproductive.”  Instead, Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, lawmakers should let the courts deal with the question of Gardner’s competence now that a lawsuit intended to remove her […]

Missouri AG moves forward with effort to remove St. Louis prosecutor from office

BY: - February 23, 2023

Embattled St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner let a noon deadline for her resignation pass without action, triggering an effort by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to remove her from office through the courts. At a news conference Thursday with Gov. Mike Parson, Bailey said he would file a quo warranto petition – an action […]