ST. LOUIS — Kim Gardner is the first black woman to be elected St. Louis’s circuit attorney. She campaigned on progressive changes. She did flashy interviews on 60 Minutes and Nightline and grabbed even more headlines when she sued the city, its police union, and five others in 2020 for what she called a racist effort to block her reform agenda.
But the George Soros backed prosecutor who is leading St. Louis through a radical experiment in its criminal justice system currently oversees the highest murder rate in 50 years. Hence, she is accused of dereliction of duty, Washington Examiner reported.
St Louis saw the highest murder rate at the end of 2019 than any year since 1970. According to figures from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, 262 people were murdered in the city. That’s just five homicides shy from the all-time record in 1993.
But the murder rate, at 87 murders per 100,000 residents, is the highest in 50 years due to a smaller population as the city has undergone a steady decline of residents for the last 60 years.
Today, Gardner stands accused of dereliction of duty by more than just police who’ve had issues with her since day one. The list has grown to include members of the public, her former employees, and a circuit court judge.
Just this week her office was blamed for making egregious errors, which led to the dismissal of three murder cases. They’ve also been accused of turning their backs on the families of victims and have been no-shows to multiple court hearings, according to the Examiner.
“Kim Gardner is a poor excuse for a prosecutor,” Cierra Moore told KSDK. Her brother, Randy Moore, was gunned down in 2020. The man accused of the homicide is Brandon Campbell.
Campbell was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and unlawful gun possession. If found guilty, he would have faced life behind bars. But things in the prosecutor’s office got sloppy. Prosecutor’s failed to appear for three hearings in the case and did not comply with a court order to produce evidence to Campbell’s defense lawyer. As a result, a circuit judge was forced to dismiss the case.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser, who dismissed the Campbell case, issued a scathing rebuke of Gardner’s office.
“In a case like this where the Circuit Attorney’s office has essentially abandoned its duty to prosecute those it charges with crimes, the court must impartially enforce the law and any resultant threat to the public is the responsibility of the Circuit Attorney’s Office,” Sengheiser wrote in his order.
Gardner placed the blame on “internal policies and procedures regarding family medical leave.” She added that “corrective measures are needed to further prevent any future repeat occurrence of the incident in question.” What she didn’t explain was why no one else was assigned the Campbell case that has allowed an accused killer to walk free.
More than 90 prosecutors have quit since Gardner was elected in 2017. While some likely departed for better jobs, others said it was the dysfunction that drove them out. Working for a chief prosecutor more focused on social justice than law and order no doubt plays a significant role.
Former prosecutor Patrick Hamacher, who worked for Gardner, recently spoke about his progressive ex-boss.
“I’m really concerned about what is going on in that office right now,” he told KSDK, adding that if St. Louis wants to become a safer city, changes must be made at the Circuit Attorney’s Office.
Hamacher, who competed against Gardner for the job, stayed on an extra year because he supported the progressive reforms she promised to bring to the city’s criminal justice system. But within months, his caseload tripled as the number of prosecutors dropped to about half the original staff of the previous circuit attorney, the Examiner reported.
“At some point, she either needs to go out and ask for help or really do some inward thinking about what she can do better as a prosecutor,” he said. “The city … we’re relying on her to be the circuit attorney.”
Last September, a federal judge dismissed Gardner’s federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and police union. Judge John Ross wrote that her accusations “can be described as a conglomeration of unrelated claims and conclusion statements supported by very few facts, which do not plead any recognizable cause of actions.”