Missouri’s governor is expected to announce details of his plan to battle violent crime within the next week or so. The plan will involve state, federal and local coordination.
Governor Mike Parson (R) briefed Capitol reporters Friday afternoon in Jefferson City, saying his recent meeting with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and the city and county police chiefs was not a summit.
“That meeting the other day (last week at City Hall) that we had in St. Louis was about boots on the ground, it was about people on the enforcement side of it,” Parson says. “That’s all it was about. We didn’t discuss prosecution, we didn’t discuss anything. We were trying to figure out how can we get more people on the ground.”
Parson plans to send state troopers to St. Louis within the next month.
The governor says he’ll be meeting soon with both St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, who are both Democrats.
13 children have been killed in shootings in St. Louis City in 2019, and the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports six children in St. Louis County have died from gunshot wounds since January.
Governor Parson is expressing his condolences to the families of the children who’ve been killed by gun violence in the St. Louis region and across the state. Parson became emotional when speaking to Capitol reporters on Friday.
“My heart goes out to them (families). You know, I’ve lost an officer in the line of duty, I’ve lost a brother-in-law in the line of duty. I know what it’s like to lose somebody,” says Parson.
The governor says the issue won’t be fixed by one agency, adding that it will take a coordinated effort among federal, state and community officials.
Meantime, Governor Parson is criticizing comments made last week by House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, about the special session.
Quade told Capitol reporters on Wednesday that “it makes no sense to prioritize tax breaks for a few over the lives of Missourians who die nearly everyday due to gun violence.”
Parson tells Missourinet that Leader Quade’s comments are “political hype.”
“And I’ll be frank with the Minority Leader that made that statement,” Parson says. “I didn’t know she … what she should have done was have a press conference a month ago when children were dying in the street, but unfortunately she came here to Jefferson City when it was convenient for her to start talking about this issue.”
Quade and House Democrats asked the governor to add the gun violence issue to the special session. State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City, notes Kansas City and St. Louis have ranked in the top ten deadliest cities for at least a decade.
As for Governor Parson, he emphasizes that he’s not comparing the car sales tax issue with gun violence.
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