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HomeNewsNewly Appointed St Louis Prosecutor Says He’s Enforcing Laws Amid Crime Crackdown

Newly Appointed St Louis Prosecutor Says He’s Enforcing Laws Amid Crime Crackdown

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According to the prosecutor’s office, prosecution of violent crime in St. Louis is rising sharply. Since Gabe Gore assumed office six months ago, the state has prosecuted more criminals.

A picture of St. Louis prosecutor Gabe Gore
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According to Gabe Gore, his office has charged 45% more cases than when Kim Gardner was the city’s top prosecutor. 

While speaking at a conference, Gore said his office has also made a dent in a backlog of pending criminal cases. He revealed that his office has resolved about 2,500 criminal cases, mostly violent crimes, in a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the nation. “There’s no type of crime that we are looking the other way on,” Gore said.

“We are enforcing the laws. As a citizen of St. Louis, we don’t accept that you have to accept a certain amount of property crime, or what people would call petty crime, as a cost of living in the city.”

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Republican Gov. Mike Parson appointed Gore, a Democrat, in May 2022, following Gardner’s resignation. Gardner’s turbulent tenure included prosecution of a sitting Republican governor and frequent run-ins with police.

Her tenure also involved criticism from Missouri Republican leaders over a backlog of cases. In addition, Gardner did not penalize many criminals convicted of violent crimes with more jail time.

However, the new top prosecutor said he had hired 24 attorneys to fill vacant assistant prosecutor positions.

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In addition, Gore developed working relationships with private lawyers and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis to help prosecute homicide cases. However, he acknowledged that more work remains. 

According to reports, Gore inherited 250 homicide cases. While his office has resolved fifty-three, they charged 37 new homicide cases since he took office. In addition, his office is reevaluating 24 homicides that Gardner’s office did not charge. At his appointment, Gore reportedly faced a backlog of 6,700 pending cases.

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However, his office has reduced that number to around 4,200. According to the Democrat Prosecutor, his office dealt with violent crimes first. He also added that he plans to resolve the remaining cases, misdemeanors, and low-level felonies by the end of March 2024.

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While many appreciate Gore’s steadfastness in prosecuting criminals, others believe preventing the crimes is better. The Rev. Darryl Gray, a leading civil rights activist, said St. Louis needs to focus on preventing crime before it happens, not what happens after. He revealed that the city jail reached capacity after Gore took office. 

In addition, Gray revealed that over 90% of the jail’s 750-plus detainees are young Black men. “We still have crime,” Gray said. “And until Gabe Gore and elected officials talk about prevention, all we’re going to have are full jails.”

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Aside from the crime crackdown, Gore hired a director of community engagement. He also appointed a former judge to lead a new conviction integrity unit to examine possible cases of wrongful convictions. Consequently, they are evaluating three convictions. 

Gardner, also a Democrat, became the city’s first Black circuit attorney after her election in 2016. However, Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a lawsuit in February seeking Gardner’s removal. 

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