St. Louis City has a problem. For too many people, their St. Louis Experience is one of violence and fear. That must change.
In 2016, 188 people were murdered in St. Louis City and over 2,000 people were shot.
The homicide number represents nearly a 60% increase since 2013, which itself saw an increase since 2012.
We've had a problem for a long time and it's getting worse.
Homicides are up nearly 60 percent since 2013. The homicide total stood at 188 last year, and stood at 120 in 2013. There were 16 homicides in December 2016 compared to 8 in December 2015, which is a 100% increase. There were 174 aggregated assaults with a gun in Dec '16 versus 118 in Dec '15. That's a 47.5% increase.
There have been more than 13,000 people shot, murdered, or robbed at gun point in just the last 5 years in the City of St. Louis. In 2016, there were 2,132 people shot in St. Louis City. In 2015, there were 2,092 people shot. These numbers represent lives forever changed.
Over the past decade, it has been the same neighborhoods that have been most plagued by violence and accounting for the majority of the city's homicides. These neighborhoods are made up of mostly poor, mostly black citizens and have been neglected for years by city government.
In 2013, the City of St. Louis regained control of its police department after 152 years of state-control. The state gained control over the police department in 1861 in a move aimed at thwarting Union sympathizers in St. Louis during the lead up to the Civil War. In November 2012, Missouri voters approved the return to local control. Kansas City’s police department is still controlled by a state board. [source]
“Local control will make our city better and safer for generations to come.”
— Mayor Francis Slay
Under local control, the police department is now under the control of the mayor, just like the Parks Department, the Health Department, SLATE, and others. One man now has control over all of these departments that have vital resources which could be used to improve the quality of life and reduce crime in neighborhoods. We have not, however, seen any level of coordination, cooperation, or information sharing with the goal of transforming communities. This is what we have been calling for since we first requested Mayor Slay develop a "comprehensive plan" to address rising violent crime in our city.
And so, on this website and using social media, Antonio has pulled together ideas to help St. Louis craft a truly comprehensive plan to fight violent crime and the conditions that lead to it. Antonio called on Mayor Slay and Chief Dotson to implement this plan. They have not. Absent of mayoral action, Antonio has fought at the Board of Aldermen and as Vice-Chairman of the Public Safety Committee to hold the mayor and the police chief accountable. But it is truly in the office of mayor that such a plan must be implemented. It is difficult to force a mayor to act if he doesn't want to. If elected mayor, Antonio has promised to reducing to the number of people murdered and shot annually in St. Louis City. If he fails, he won't seek re-election.