Protesters, demonstrators drawn downtown by Greitens’ trial

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ST. LOUIS – Governor Eric Greitens’ invasion of privacy trial has attracted media from across the state and the media, in turn, seems to be attracting demonstrators to the courthouse. The issue of protests came before Judge Rex Burlison Friday morning.

It seems the plaza in front of the civil court building has become the place for people to air their grievances. Heather Forbes, a Greitens’ devotee, said she wants the governor to know she has his back.

“I support you. You’re doing a great job,” she said. “Don’t quit. Don’t give up; hang in there.”

Forbes came downtown after she heard about Thursday’s protest. About a dozen people demonstrated in the courthouse plaza to demanding the governor resign from office. Forbes wanted her voice to be heard as well.

“I voted for him,” she said. “I’ve been a supporter since the election.”

Some protestors have no connection to the governor’s trail. Vickie Wright said she’s upset about the way her brother’s wrongful death suit was handled.

“There never was a trial,” Wright said. “I’ve never seen a judge in the whole five years (since) my brother’s wrongful death.”

Other people were there because they want Larry Rice’s homeless shelter reopened.

Linzle Baker said, “Larry has done so much for this community,” said Linzle Baker.

People hope the media will spread their beliefs far and wide.

“I want to get the coverage because I want (Rice) to open (the shelter) back up,” Baker said.

Greitens’ defense lawyers brought the protest issue before Judge Rex Burlison. Greitens’ attorneys were concerned people arriving for jury duty could be influenced by the demonstrators.

The judge asked the sheriff how he handled protests. The sheriff said as long as people remain in the plaza and not near the building they have the freedom of speech to let their voices be heard.

The judge said he’ll let the sheriff take care of any protests. It looks like demonstrators are welcome for the time being.

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