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Crime rising in St. Louis County and more election fallout

Homicide totals and shootings up in St. Louis County; and no love for incumbents on city's southwest side
Credit: AP Images

ST. LOUIS — There’s no doubt police in St. Louis have been busier investigating homicides and shootings this year compared to last.

In fact, police sources have told me that with homicides up about 39% this year compared to last, the department is running low on silhouettes used to mark the position of a body at a homicide scene.

They are made of a special type of wax paper so they don’t tear or wear down right away.

Commanders have told officers only sergeants will have them, for now, until more can be purchased.

But 2020 has been a busy year for their counterparts in the county, too.

So far this year, St. Louis County police have investigated 39 homicides – that’s a 25% increase compared to the number of cases the department investigated at the same time last year.

When it comes to aggravated assaults or shootings as most of them are, the county police have investigated 477 cases compared to 412 last year – a 16% increase.

The St. Louis County Police Department provided the following breakdown of homicides:

2019:

31 total homicides investigated

21 homicides in unincorporated St. Louis County

4 homicides in municipalities patrolled by St. Louis County Police

6 homicides investigated for other municipalities

2020:

39 total homicides investigated

24 homicides in unincorporated St. Louis County

5 homicides in municipalities patrolled by St. Louis County Police

10 homicides investigated for other municipalities

The southwest doesn’t want status quo

This week, 5 On Your Side’s Data Reporter Erin Richey and I analyzed the ward-by-ward breakdown of voting trends that led to primary victories.

Specifically, we focused on the Congressional race in which Cori Bush upset Lacy Clay – whose family has held the seat for 50 years.

We also looked at the Circuit Attorney’s race and the City Treasurer’s race.

Incumbents Kim Gardner and Tishaura Jones won the primaries to retain their seats in those races respectively.

But the southwest quadrant of the city also had something to say in this election: It isn’t happy with the status quo.

Gardner and Jones lost wards 12, 16, and 23 to their opponents.

So did Clay.

The wards include the following neighborhoods: Boulevard Heights, Carondelet, Princeton Heights, Lindenwood Park, Princeton Heights, Southampton, St. Louis Hills, Lindenwood Park, North Hampton and Southampton.

The areas tend to have mostly white populations with the highest voter turnout.

Arguably, the turnout in those wards helped lead Mayor Lyda Krewson to victory over Jones in the last general election by about 800 votes.

This time, however, the turnout wasn’t enough to oust all of the incumbents in the primary elections.

Richey also crafted a map showing the southern portion of the city carried Bush to victory, while north St. Louis stuck with Clay.

The last time I saw an election results map look like that happened in 2017 when all of north St. Louis voted in favor of Prop P to give raises to police officers.

The wards who voted against the money included the Tower Grove and Shaw areas.

This time, those areas heavily favored the incumbents in the primaries.

And they have spoken, too.

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