While we’re featuring the work of Kansas City-area legislators, this bill by Sen. Nasheed of St. Louis caught our attention as being exceptionally relevant. 

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, has filed a bill for the 2019 legislative session that will protect victims and witnesses who are working with law enforcement to put violent criminals behind bars.

Under current law, any witness interviews, depositions or sworn statements may become public while the alleged perpetrator is still roaming the streets, putting witnesses at risk. Senate Bill 22 would allow for information gathered through the discovery phase of a legal proceeding to be kept confidential until after a defendant is in custody and formal charges are made.

“It takes a brave person to come forward to help with an investigation knowing that they may be retaliated against for it,” said Sen. Nasheed. “This legislation aims to provide peace of mind for those brave citizens working with police to help make our communities safer. Through this legislation, witnesses can rest assured the information they provide will be protected until the alleged perpetrator is off the streets and is unable to harm them.”

In particular, Sen. Nasheed had her hometown of St. Louis in mind when she drafted the legislation, but she also recognized the benefit the legislation could have across the entire state.

According to recent data released by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, as of Nov. 26, 2018, the City of St. Louis has seen 165 homicides, 155 of which were committed using a firearm. In 2017, the city recorded 205 homicides, making St. Louis the most murderous city of its size in America.

Through Dec. 28, 2018, the City of Kansas City, MO., reported 133 murders, and there were 208 murders in 2018 across the KC Metro area.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.