Congratulations to Kimberly Gardner on her outstanding primary victory!
Last month, we posted, "We Need Black Prosecutors". The voters of St. Louis decided the same thing and elected Kimberly Gardner as the democratic nominee and the next presumptive St. Louis City Circuit Attorney. In a city that is majority African-American, it is of extreme importance that St. Louis is finally positioned to have it's first Black Circuit Attorney. Ms. Gardner will become the most powerful person in the St. Louis City criminal justice system.
When a kid commits a crime, the justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time.
"It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men"
Adam Foss, a former assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, Massachusetts discussed how prosecutors can change lives. He is among the type of black prosecutors we had in mind when we wrote our post last month. Below is a video of a TED talk Mr. Foss gave about the power of the prosecutor. At the beginning of his talk, he asked the audience a few simple questions that drove home a very powerful point that too many prosecutors miss.
What makes Ms. Gardner's victory even more amazing is the fact that she won dispite the fact the neither the St. Louis Police Officers Association or the Ethical Society of Police (St. Louis' black police union) endorsed her. Both unions endorsed other candidates. As a result, Ms. Gardner doesn't have any political obligation to police officers.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Gardner, but the limited interviews and news clips I have seen, indicates she shares some of the same sentiments as Mr. Foss.
I believe Ms. Gardner will be a fine circuit attorney dedicated to her new position and will be a refreshing change from the current administration.
However, there is no greater protection than personally understanding your rights. It's still important to educate yourself about the law and how our court system works.