Gardner, Carl stand out at circuit attorney candidate forum

Via the St. Louis American

Ronni Zimmerman, an eighth grader in Ritneour School District, sat beside her mother on Saturday, June 18 as they listened to the four St. Louis circuit attorney candidates talk about why they would be best to replace incumbent Jennifer Joyce, who will not seek reelection.

She heard from long-time city prosecutor Mary Pat Carl; Patrick Hamacher, who has been a prosecutor in Joyce’s office for five years; state Rep. Kim Gardner, who previously tried cases when she worked in Joyce’s office; and Steve Harmon, a former city police officer and municipal prosecutor.

The two-hour forum held at Saint Louis University covered topics ranging from the death penalty to alternative sentencing. Yet, in the end, one thing fell heavy on Zimmerman’s heart, she said.

“Steve Harmon,” she said. “Everyone else said, ‘Black lives matter,’ but he said, ‘All lives matter.’ Part of me got really hurt, especially him being a black man. I agree all lives matter, but currently black lives are the ones that are being killed and oppressed.”

About 300 people attended the forum organized by young, black activists with Decarcerate STL, who drafted a series of questions. They also invited about 15 community organizations – most of them also participated in the post-Ferguson Commission’s public accountability forums – to submit and ask questions at the event.


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