Media Advisory: On MLK Day, ArchCity Defenders Releases Policy Report “Death by the State: Police Killings and Jail Deaths in St. Louis,” and Introduces Collaborative Initiative

Nearly sixty years ago in his “I Have a Dream” speech, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “[w]e can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” 

In the spirit of MLK, ArchCity Defenders, a holistic legal advocacy organization dedicated to racial justice and to combating the criminalization of poverty and state violence, will share key findings about Fatal State Violence in St. Louis, and introduce their approach to addressing the issue on Monday, January 18, 2021.

What: “Death by the State”: Introducing ArchCity’s Fatal State Violence Project, a virtual event and report release

On Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1PM CST, ArchCity Defenders (ACD) will hold a virtual event to introduce how the organization’s holistic legal advocacy approach continues to confront the issue of Fatal State Violence in St. Louis. 

During the event, panelists will discuss key findings from ACD’s forthcoming policy report, “Death by the State: Police Killings and Jail Deaths in St. Louis,” which centers the disturbing realities faced by families of individuals who were killed by police or who died in jail custody. The report contextualizes their overwhelmingly adverse experiences with unprecedented data on regional police killings and jail deaths between 2009 to 2019, an analysis of how these incidents were reported, a section on the police officers connected to these deaths, and analysis of what this costs the public.

Additionally, ACD will share how their holistic direct services, media and policy advocacy, community collaborations, and systemic litigation work together to tackle this severe, complex issue. ACD will be joined by guest panelists who will lend historical, community, and personal perspectives about Fatal State Violence. The program will conclude with ways for individuals to engage with the new information and support the initiative.

When: Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1pm CST

Where: Virtual via Zoom; Registration is required, and the link to register is here.

Who: ArchCity Defenders and featured guest panelists


  • Ashley Jackson, PhD Student, Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow, Washington University of St. Louis
  • Blake Strode, Executive Director, ArchCity Defenders 
  • Emanuel Powell, Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney, ArchCity Defenders
  • Emma Klahr, Former ArchCity Defenders Intern and Researcher
  • Inez Bordeaux, Manager of Community Collaborations, ArchCity Defenders 
  • John Chasnoff, Co-Chair, Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression (CAPCR)
  • Marlene Gebhard, Grandmother of the late Tyler Gebhard
  • Toni Taylor, Mother of the late Cary T. Ball, Jr., Co-Founder of “Cary on the Ball Organization”
  • Z Gorley, Communications Director, ArchCity Defenders

To follow this conversation on social media, #FatalStateViolenceProject refers to ACD’s initiative, and #DeathByTheState corresponds with ACD’s report. 


Media Contact:

Z. Gorley, Communications Director, ArchCity Defenders