Fatal gunfire over a parking dispute is the latest of rampant crimes that prompted calls to deploy the Missouri National Guard in St. Louis.
Alderman Brandon Bosley of St. Louis has requested the governor send the Missouri National Guard to help control St. Louis’ rising crime rate, which has overwhelmed the city in the face of a law enforcement shortage, KSDK News reported on Monday.
In an interview with local news, Bosley said he wants Gov. Mike Parson to send the Guard help handle the crime that has amounted to “war” in the city, after a shocking seven shootings in a span of just two days.
Watch his remarks beginning at 6:20 in the video below:
“There is a war going on in this city and it’s not white on black. Everybody’s talking about a race war. White people are not coming to the black side of town shooting up black people,” Bosley said. “It is black people coming from wherever they come from to shoot up the other black people in the city, and we need help to save ourselves.”
Insufficient law enforcement resources have allowed crime to surge. Bosley believes the presence of troops would deter the majority of murders in the city.
“If we had an Army member that was standing right there in a Humvee, or just sitting there, period. Nine times out of 10 the four people that got shot on this one particular corner wouldn’t have gotten shot,” Bosley said.
In the latest dispute, two drivers were arguing over a parked car blocking traffic when one pulled out a gun and shot the other in the face and stomach. The victim fought for their life since the incident on Saturday, but died on Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“This, straight up, over parking. No matter what, what you think about it is, the fact that we don’t value life,” Bosley said of the latest dispute. “This is not normal. We are not in Afghanistan.”
“I’m done waiting,” Bosley said. “Before it gets too bad, we need to do something measurable. Extra hands. Extra guns. Guns bigger than the ones on the street,” he pointed out.
The crime rate and lack of law enforcement have left communities to find their own solutions to the crisis.
One of those measures has been an effort called “Grill to Glory” backed by churches and other advocates in the area. The effort seeks to hold community grill-outs to help shift the focus from crime to church.
More than 50 of the 112 churches in the Hayden’s Rectangle area have joined in on the effort to hold a grill-out for the community each Saturday, KMOV News reported. The area makes up 67 percent of St. Louis’ violent crime.
Since January, homicides have decreased 14 percent and carjacking decreased 25 percent. Robberies, however, have increased 20 percent.
“Those churches working together can change the culture in these neighborhoods in about six months,” said James Clark, founder of the Better Family Life nonprofit. “They can do what the police department can’t do, what politicians can’t do.”