St. Louis Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards blasted both protestors and violent rioters Tuesday morning after he waited his turn at the bullhorn before giving a fiery speech, asking for protestors to work with him to fight violent crime. Audio of his speech, via KMOX:
“We have to address this issue, black-on-black crime. We run away from it like it doesn’t happen.
All of the protests from 2014, from Mike Brown, to Stockley to today, all of the those protests have been south of Delmar. If you’re big, bad, and bold enough, let’s walk down Goodfellow and Dr. Martin Luther King, and let’s walk to Natural Bridge. Let’s walk east on Natural Bridge to Fairground. Let’s do an encampment at Kossuth and Grand. Stop protesting these fake issues and let’s start addressing the things that we need to address. The mayor’s not going to resign. Why do I have 75-100 people out here talking about “resign Lyda” and they’re coming from Ballwin, and Kirkwood, and Richmond Heights, and South County, and northern California, and Illinois. They don’t even live in the city of St. Louis. They are creating issues to protest about disguised as peaceful protests and then engaging in criminal activity.
You know what, those kids that’s been down here protesting? I want them out of the city. They need to go home. They need to go back where they come from. We don’t want them down here anymore. We got other issues that we need to address. I got real issues that we need to address. And the heckuva thing about it? Most of you know who killed your loved ones! Most of you know who killed your loved ones but I can’t even get witnesses to stand up. I can’t get witnesses to stand up and point a finger and say he did it. I gotta fix this and I hope you stand with me and understand what’s going on in our city, know when you are being hoodwinked and know when you’re not.”
Edwards was appointed to his position in 2017 by Mayor Lyda Krewson after the verdict in the trial of Jason Stockley, an officer tried for the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith (I discussed this previously here). Reporting at the time:
Edwards said he’s spent his career supporting police officers and he intends to continue to support police officers. “But at the same time, I understand that sometimes they don’t get it right,” he said. “And when they don’t get it right, then we need to correct that.
Edwards has a history of working with troubled youth (previously he served as Chief Juvenile Court Judge and Administrative Judge of the Family Court with the 22nd Circuit). He supports a middle-ground approach that favors de-escalation and has repeatedly called attention to violent rioters, echoing Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol who said in 2014 that the violent rioters firing at cops and those arrested for other destruction weren’t from St. Louis or Ferguson (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, a.k.a. MORE was protested for not paying the Ferguson demonstrators that it hired, using #CutTheCheck to trend on Twitter).