Tensions in this city are high. It’s over 100 degrees in the day, humidity is high, Mayor Lyda Krewson is new in office with very little support North of Delmar, and prisoners are suffering in the St Louis City Workhouse.
Yesterday I took video at The Workhouse by myself. Today hundreds joined me as we heard the chants, screams and cries for help from prisoners.
Protesters showed up young and old, black and white,committed activists from Ferguson and those new to protests. All stood united in demanding prisoners be released rather than be held in such hot and inhumane conditions.
Members of leftist organizations, local Democratic politicians and just ordinary concerned citizens interacted with prisoners through their windows. At one point protesters breached a fence outside of the jail. Police responded slowly and gradually building up their presence. Many officers appeared to be less than enthused. One officer appeared to have a breakdown and ran away. Other officers casually chatted. Several officers engaged in shoving matches with protesters.
By the end of the protest it looked like Ferguson. Police were towing cars, citizens were being randomly sprayed with chemicals, and heavy-handed tactics were used. Police also repeated the tactic of shutting down vehicular traffic making it hard to get to the protests and jamming cell phone signals.
While Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed has announced potable air conditioners will be provided soon details remain sketchy. Reed admitted to a reporter he acted out of pressure from protesters and FOX 2 reporter Elliot Davis.
St Louis Treasurer and Mayoral candidate Tishaura Jones had made closing the City Workhouse part of her platform. In addition to the lack of air conditioning the Workhouse has been plagued with mismanagement and violence over the years.
It’s time for Mayor Lyda Krewson to step up. St Louis is ready to burn. Proceed with caution.