Another violent weekend in St. Louis ended with several shootings and at least four people dead. On Monday, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens laid out a new plan to make St. Louis safer.
The Missouri governor was met by both clapping and booing as he took the podium in North St. Louis City Monday afternoon.
"We are taking strong action, unprecedented action," Greitens said.
He announced the joint efforts of the DEA and FBI in a new safety task force to combat the City’s most violent offenders. Greitens also talked about the success of the Missouri Highway Patrol, now officially working St. Louis City interstates. In the first night alone, Greitens explained that patrol units made dozens of felony arrests. In light of the recent shootings along interstates in the city, the extra presence of the highway patrol, is critical, he said.
The plan also includes training local school leaders to recognize children impacted by crime. The governor is creating a clergy coalition, to provide faith leaders the resources they need to help their congregations.
“This is an unprecedented level of cooperation that we're bringing together."
Many labor organizations in attendance, including Missouri Jobs for Justice, held signs in protest of the governor, disappointed that he didn’t mention the repeal of minimum wage in St. Louis.
"I would have to go back to suffering and wondering how I'm going to pay my bills," said Wanda Rogers, who makes $7.70 per hour working at McDonalds. She said her salary doesn’t allow her to move out of her high crime neighborhood.
"I wonder if they can live off of what we make in an hour," Wanda said.
Representative Bruce Franks said the issue is not solved with more law enforcement, but rather, with more resources.
"You can't sign a discrimination bill, veto a bill that helps thousands of seniors and our disabled community, push back our minimum wage, and then pop up in an economically distressed community and say ‘hey, I'm going to help you fix crime,” Franks said.
“It doesn’t work that way," he said.
In response to concerns about minimum wage, Governor Greitens said that the original $10/hour increase was more harmful than it was helpful.