The St. Louis public security director is receiving pushback for feedback he made which appeared to put not less than a few of the fault for the deaths of over a dozen St. Louis youngsters, who have been killed by weapons, on the kids themselves.
Director Jimmy Edwards mentioned on a St. Louis-area public radio program final week that he thinks “it is important that our children do not engage in risky behaviors.”
“Many of the kids that unfortunately were violently killed were teenagers engaging in criminal behaviors themselves,” he mentioned. “About eight were engaged in criminal behaviors that resulted in their deaths.”
At least 15 youngsters in St. Louis have been killed by weapons within the final 5 months. The metropolis is plagued with searingly excessive homicide charges. In 2017, the Pew Research Center discovered that, at a fee of over 66 murders per 100,000 residents, St. Louis was the “murder capital” of the United States. According to lately launched FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics protecting 2018, town has managed to nudge its homicide fee solely barely downward, to 61.
Edwards acknowledged that the kids themselves have been positioned in precarious circumstances “they should not have been placed in” by their guardians, saying that “many” of them have been “sophisticated.”
The backlash was swift and vociferous. Inez Bordeau of ArchCity Defenders told KMOV that she was “horrified.”
“As a mother, I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak these families must feel hearing someone who works in our city administration say those words,” she advised the station.
Inez’s group launched a joint assertion with a handful of different social justice organizations decrying Edwards’ feedback and subsequent makes an attempt to defend them.
“This kind of demonization of our children is shocking and unacceptable,” the assertion reads. “It builds on racist, dehumanizing tropes about Black children and distracts from the public policies that continue to deepen poverty and despair instead of investing resources to create safety and opportunity.”
The teams referred to as on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to undertake a decision censuring Edwards, who was appointed to his place by Mayor Lyda Krewson. Edwards is a lawyer and jurist, serving on the St. Louis Circuit Court after which as a household courtroom administrative decide and Chief Juvenile Court decide.
He can also be a famous advocate and in 2010 received the American Bar Association’s Raymond Pace Alexander award, which honors “contributions to judicial advocacy and humanity.” During his service on the bench, Edwards opened the Innovative Concept Academy, a faculty in St. Louis for at-risk youth. It serves as a useful resource for youngsters who’ve been turned away from different faculties as a consequence of uncontrolled behavioral points.
In a press release to KMOV, Krewson defended her metropolis’s chief law-enforcement official, saying that he “cares deeply” in regards to the youngsters who perished.
Edwards didn’t reply to a right away request for remark.