September 19, 2022
What: Press conference held by Action St. Louis, ArchCity Defenders, Freedom Community Center, Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Missouri State Public Defender System – St. Louis City Office, and Metropolitan Congregations United
Kennard Williams, Action St. Louis, Organizing Manager (emcee)
Shaunta Johnson, sister of Courtney McNeal, who was killed by the City Justice Center (CJC) on September 6, 2022
Shubra Ohri, Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Attorney
Brittney Watkins, ArchCity Defenders, Staff Attorney
Inez Bordeaux, ArchCity Defenders, Manager of Community Collaborations
Sarah Nixon, Faith For Justice, Program Manager
When: Monday, September 19, 2022 from 11:00AM-12:00PM
Where: St. Louis City Justice Center, 200 S Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO
With six deaths since April 2022, the St. Louis City Justice Center (CJC) conditions have proven to be fatal. The two most recent deaths occurred within three days of each other. Those who lost their lives inside of CJC include Robert Lee Miller (April 28, 2022), Augustus Collier (July 8, 2022), a person whose street name was Nelly Boo (August 10, 2022), Donald Henry (September 3, 2022), Courtney McNeal (September 6, 2022), and one person whose name and date of death is unknown.
On Monday, September 19, 2022, at 11 AM, outside of CJC, impacted families who have lost loved ones in custody, previously detained individuals, Action St. Louis, ArchCity Defenders, Freedom Community Center, Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Missouri State Public Defender System – St. Louis City Office, and Metropolitan Congregations United will hold a rally and press conference to show solidarity with those currently detained at CJC and honor the six people who lost their lives at CJC. Speakers will also reemphasize their demands of elected officials, which call for:
Full Transparency on All Jail Deaths:
- We demand that the City Department of Corrections release to the public all the information pertaining to the six deaths inside of CJC in 2022.
- We demand that the Detention Facility Oversight Board immediately launch a full investigation into these deaths and any ongoing complaints made by those detained.
Release the People:
- We demand that the Department of Public Safety, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and the Division of Re-entry Services facilitate the release of those held on Felony D-level offenses and below, including those eligible for bail or sponsored recognizance or held on probation technical violations.
- We demand the 22nd Judicial Circuit and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney’s office increase the use of pretrial release versus “No Bond Allowed” determinations.
- We demand that all those with serious medical conditions currently held in CJC be immediately released.
Improve Conditions Immediately:
- We demand an immediate end to the use of all chemical agents against detainees.
- We demand an end of 23-hour lockdowns.
- We demand the provision of adequate safe drinking water and food for detainees.
- We demand increased medical resources to provide needed medical care to all detainees.
A live stream of the press conference will be available via ArchCity Defenders’ Facebook page.
Z Gorley, Communications Director, ArchCity Defenders