ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is speaking out after filing a blistering federal lawsuit alleging a coordinated and racist effort to remove her from office.
Gardner tells us the federal lawsuit is about making sure everyone gets fair treatment under the law.
Gardner says she won`t let she calls a failed and racist status quo stand when it comes to the St. Louis criminal justice system.
Gardner arrived to chants of ‘Hands Off Kim’ Tuesday afternoon at a national forum for black female prosecutors.
The event was held at Harris Stowe State University.
Gardner had strong words at the event about her civil rights lawsuit.
Gardner told the crowd, “This suit is by the people, for the people and we are not going to back down.”
Earlier in the day, the same group of female prosecutors from across the country rallied in support of Gardner on the Carnahan Courthouse steps.
After the event at Harris Stowe, Gardner spoke one on one with FOX 2/NEWS 11.
She talked about the suit she filed Monday against among others the City of St. Louis, the St. Louis Police Officers Association and its business manager Jeff Roorda and Gerard Carmody.
He`s the special prosecutor investigating Gardner`s office after her investigation of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
The lawsuit alleges a racist conspiracy designed to get Gardner out of office.
Gardner accuses the defendants of trying to stop reforms she is making to the criminal justice system, and she says she won`t let that happen.
“This is about the people, the will of the people. This is about a small few who will get together to stop and thwart equal protection under the law, this is about fairness and justice and what is at stake is not a Kim Gardner, what is at stake is the integrity of the whole criminal justice system,” said Gardner.
Gardner fired back at Roorda, who has strongly criticized Gardner and who called the suit the last act of a desperate woman.
Gardner told FOX 2/NEWS 11, “This is the act of a woman who represents the people. This is the act of a woman who is tired of a person like Jeff Roorda who`s given a platform unchecked and without having any consequences to his most devastating, divisive words.”
The suit talks about Gardner receiving letters with racist threats.
But Gardner says she won`t be deterred.
“I`m not going to be afraid because guess what I`m standing on the shoulders of greats, of great people who`ve paved the way for me and if they were afraid where would we be today,” said Gardner.
Roorda has also accused Gardner of filing the suit to distract from her own upcoming deposition before special prosecutor Carmody.
Gardner calls that laughable.
The deposition was originally set for Wednesday but it has been pushed back until January 24th.