Missouri lawmakers spar over how to handle spike in violence

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Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri lawmaker pitching a tough-on-crime bill Tuesday directed blame for a surge in violence in the state’s biggest cities at factors including the sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and St. Louis’ prosecutor, the city’s first black circuit attorney. That spurred a black Democratic senator from the city to call out her Republican colleague for looking at the issue of crime through the perspective of a “privileged” white man. The dispute highlights a divide among lawmakers over how to address an uptick in violence in the state’s biggest cities.

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