ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The NBC nightly news was broadcast from downtown St. Louis Tuesday night. Anchor Lester Holt is anchoring broadcasts from several US cities this week. The second stop on the “Across America” tour took him to the top of the Gateway Arch and featured a segment on the area’s high crime rate.
“St. Louis is grappling with how to keep its citizens safe and convince tourists to come back,” said Holt in his introduction to the first story about St. Louis. “It is a distinction no one wants, Murder Capital of America. The homicide rate in St. Louis was the highest in the country last year. The worst this city has seen in 50 years.”
Mayor Tishaura Jones spoke with NBC News. She told him that when gunshots rang out last week during a press conference that her son thought the shooter was firing at her. With so much shooting you can get desensitized to it, she explained.
Jones said that is a St. Louis that she does not want anyone to live in. Recently more officers have been assigned to downtown to help secure the area.
The Cure Violence program is one of the solutions that local leaders are offering for the high crime rate. The organization is only targeting Dutchtown, Wells Goodfellow, Hamilton Heights, and Walnut Park right now. Each section covers a 10 by 10 block where they work to prevent gun violence.
Holt also visited the St. Louis Arch. He took the cramped ride up one of the elevators to see the city from the apex and called it amazing. The report concluded with this insight about the view from up there:
“A monument to the past with unparalleled views of the future,” said Holt.