(The Post Millennial) – St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones was speaking at a press conference with her Kansas City counterpart, Mayor Quinton Lucas, about joint efforts to reduce violent crime when sounds of what appeared to be gunfire went off nearby.
Jones didn’t flinch, quipping, “Oh isn’t that wonderful,” before continuing.
“Well I hear gunshots in my neighborhood every night,” Jones said, explaining to reporters that because she was born and raised in St. Louis, the sound of gunfire barely has an effect on her anymore. “My son and I fall asleep to the lullabies in the distance every night cause I’m the first mayor in over 20 years to be born, raised and still live in north St. Louis, and it’s unfortunate, yes I heard it, but I didn’t flinch because I guess it’s a part of my life now.”
The incident took place at a time where homicides are expected to go down in St. Louis. According to KMOV.com, this time last year, the city reported 263 homicides, while only 161 have been reported in 2021. Kansas City is also anticipating a slight decline in homicides, after setting a record of 156 in 2020.
After the roundtable, Jones reiterated her proposals to remedy gun violence through allocating $11.5 million of spending from the American Rescue Plan to violence intervention programs and jobs for youth. “The advocates and survivors I heard from agreed: To improve public safety, we must treat gun violence like the public health crisis it is,” she tweeted. “We must reverse decades of intentional disinvestment that have left entire communities across our city struggling.”
Jones has been accused by Republicans of wanting to “defund the police” for her effort to reallocate $4 million of the St. Louis Department’s approximately $170 million budget to other services she claims would be used to “support law enforcement,” according to Fox2.com
Violent crime has escalated in a number of major US cities, such as New York, Chicago ,and Minneapolis, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the murder rate nationwide reaching its highest point since the mid-1990s.