Criminal Justice

Eric Schmitt denies involvement in call for Trump supporters to march on U.S. Capitol

BY: - January 9, 2021

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt denies any knowledge of a robocall by an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) encouraging “patriots” to participate in a march that ended in a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Schmitt serves as vice chair of RAGA. The Rule of Law Defense Fund, the 501(c)(4) […]

Controversial aerial surveillance proposal in St. Louis moves forward

BY: - January 6, 2021

St. Louis aldermen have advanced a bill proposing a three-year contract with a controversial aerial-surveillance program that claims to help solve and prevent murders.  After more than four hours of testimony Tuesday, an aldermanic committee voted 6-1 to approve a contract with Persistent Surveillance Services for the company to fly three surveillance planes over the […]

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri lawmakers return to tackle Medicaid, education, budget amid COVID

BY: - January 5, 2021

With COVID-19 continuing to spread across the state, Missouri lawmakers convene at noon on Wednesday to begin the 101st General Assembly. It is certain to be a session like no other.  Questions surrounding the state budget, funding for roads and bridges, education, local control and a myriad of other issues are on the agenda. But […]

Prosecutors try to keep people out of pandemic-clogged courts through diversion programs

BY: - December 30, 2020

When Julia Fogelberg was a public defender in St. Louis County, she saw how the criminal justice system could often do more harm than good.  Now working on the prosecutor side, she’s grateful that she can provide a different solution — like in the case of a single-mother of two she met this summer. The […]

St. Francois County jail faces class-action lawsuit alleging ‘unlawful’ conditions

BY: - December 21, 2020

When Bonne Terre resident Robert Hopple entered the St. Francois County Detention Center in May 2018, he was placed in a small holding cell with about ten other men for roughly three days.  Hopple, 49, says the jail staff gave him a urine-soaked mat and a thin blanket to sleep on the floor — while […]

Missouri police recruits must soon take course on history of policing minority communities

BY: - December 16, 2020

New recruits in Missouri’s law-enforcement academies will soon be required to take a two-hour course on the history of policing in minority communities.  The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission — which sets the minimum standards for the basic training in Missouri — unanimously approved the measure on Tuesday. A POST subcommittee spent the last […]

Why did Fayette police raid a Black student’s house twice late at night?

BY: - December 15, 2020

It was 8:30 p.m. on Halloween night, and Christopher Turner Jr. and his girlfriend had just gotten home from a Central Methodist University football game in Kansas.  Turner, 24, plays right defensive tackle for the team, and both are seniors at the small private college in Fayette, about 30 miles northwest of Columbia. The team […]

Missouri bills seek to shield drivers who hit protesters

BY: and - December 10, 2020

Reacting to a summer marked by protests against police violence around the country, a pair of Missouri lawmakers are pushing for legislation shielding drivers from liability if they hit protesters with their cars. State Sen.-elect Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, is sponsoring a bill that would bar lawsuits against drivers for injuries to a person who “was […]

Medical marijuana subpoena may have been connected to Independence FBI probe

BY: - December 7, 2020

The head of Missouri’s medical marijuana program testified under oath that a grand jury subpoena his agency received late last year was likely connected to an FBI investigation in Independence.  The revelation by Lyndall Fraker, director of medical marijuana regulation at the Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services, is the first indication of the […]

Howard County Jail closed as COVID outbreak hits sheriff, inmates

BY: and - December 3, 2020

An entire jail in central Missouri is empty today due to a COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department closed Saturday and sent the 15 detainees to Cooper County. Sheriff Mike Neal, at least one deputy and most of the jail staff are infected with the coronavirus. The department posted a […]

Missouri lawmakers file bills to improve access to HIV treatment, reduce stigma

BY: - December 1, 2020

The first step for a person to receive care for HIV is knowing whether they have it. But under a Missouri law passed in the late 1980s, it also means people living with HIV could face prosecution if they expose someone to it. A bipartisan trio of Missouri lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to […]

Five years after Ferguson report, some say progress has come too slow

BY: - November 24, 2020

Like so many around the country, Dr. L.J. Punch was glued to the television on the night of Nov. 24, 2014. That night, the country learned that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. Punch was a critical-care surgeon working in Houston […]