It comes down to trust

It was reported that a former St. Louis city assistant prosecutor pleaded guilty to crimes involving her participation in a cover up with a  St. Louis Metropolitan policeman by issuing false charges. This unethical and illegal misconduct goes to the heart of why crimes are so difficult to solve in the City of St. Louis where we have the vast majority of unsolved murders.

However, in a system where there is strong evidence of bias in the treatment of minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged, this type of incident validates and provides fuel to the fires of mistrust of the criminal system. This creates difficult challenges in delivering justice to victims of crimes that plague our great city.

This mistrust is particularly true for African Americans throughout the St. Louis region. Reports generated by the Missouri Attorney General and the United States Department of Justice have shown that a disproportionately high number of minorities are detained and interrogated by law enforcement officers. When these statistics are published, the disclaimer that such statistics “do not prove racial bias” most times follows it. However, it does not disprove the existence of bias either.

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