ST. LOUIS – Strong words were spoken Tuesday morning in support of embattled St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. About 70 members of the Community Justice Coalition gathered outside the Carnahan Courthouse to support Gardner. The group is accusing people of rushing to judgment about Gardner and accusing the media of spinning false narratives about her.

A key issue is the tragic crash that occurred recently and caused 17-year-old Janae Edmonson to lose her legs. Janae was in St. Louis for a volleyball tournament and was walking back to her downtown hotel with her family when 21-year-old Daniel Riley sped through an intersection and failed to yield, slamming into another car. That car hit Edmondson, leading to her critical injuries.

Riley was out on bond in a robbery case and had violated his house arrest dozens of times without any consequences. Gardner has come under fire because Riley was not behind bars. The court said Gardner never asked for Riley’s bond to be denied. Gardner’s supporters say that’s not true. They say it’s not her fault.

“Falsely claim she’s letting criminals out on the street when it is the judge’s responsibility, not the circuit attorney,” said Zaki Baruti, leader of the Community Justice Coalition.

Gardner has said her office verbally requested that Riley’s bond be revoked three different times, but the judge never revoked it. She makes the case that judges and not her office decide bond issues.

Baruti called on the judge to resign or be removed.

The Community Justice Coalition backed Gardner, saying she has been the victim of a “legal lynching” and “vicious” and “systematic” attacks. The group is saying Gardner has done nothing wrong and making the case that the judge who decided to let Riley remain out on bond should resign.

Those with the Community Justice Coalition identified that judge as Bryan Hettenbach. They are also calling on St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones to apologize for comments she made critical of Gardner in the wake of the controversy over Riley’s bond. Jones said that Gardner “lost the trust of the people.” Baruti said all the detractors owed Gardner an apology.

The group praised Gardner saying she is taking rogue police officers off the streets and helping with transformative justice.

FOX 2 reached out to the court for comments on Tuesday rally, criticizing the judges, but we have yet to receive a response. We also contacted the Circuit Attorney’s Office, and we did not receive a response either.