Kim Gardner was elected chief prosecutor in St. Louis in 2016. Since then she has been taking on the system—the first black circuit attorney in St. Louis, in January she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that accuses the city, the city’s police union and others of a coordinated and racist conspiracy aimed at forcing her out of office.
The lawsuit among other things alleges the city’s police union “has gone out of its way to support white officers accused of perpetrating acts of violence and excessive force against African American citizens.”
An independent watchdog has compiled thousands of comments made by police officers on their public Facebook pages and has determined that “a number of St. Louis officers had posted racist and offensive content on social media over a period of years.”
In addition, Kim Gardner, whose office looked into the conviction of Lamar Johnson, came to the conclusion that he was wrongly convicted and deserves a new trial, but she is being fought by the state attorney general.
The state legislature has pushed to take away power from Kim Gardner, with legislation that would allow the attorney general’s office to have the authority to prosecute some crimes that St. Louis area prosecutors decide not to pursue.
Listen as Kim Gardner talks about her battles with the state as she tries to reform criminal justice in St. Louis.
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