ST. LOUIS – The heated battle to keep St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner in office has moved from simmer to boil. Religious leaders and others turned out in force Tuesday night at the Westside Missionary Baptist Church to pray for city Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and pledge to fight for her.
Gardner entered the sanctuary to a standing ovation and many hugs. Folks insist the perjury investigation into her former investigator in the Governor Greitens case is being handled unfairly by the judge and special prosecutor, “Asking for Judge Mullen to be removed from this case as well as the prosecutor because we believe they have violated their rights,” said Reverend Phillips Duvall.
They talked about ongoing attacks against Gardner from many fronts including the police union. Her supporters said it’s because of the criminal justice reforms Gardner is putting in place. Plus, they believe there are two other reasons, “I believe that one because she’s a female and two because she’s a black female,” said Adolphus Pruitt, the president of the St. Louis City NAACP.
Church pastors prayed over Gardner and the congregation joined in. Gardner addressed the group and got her best response when she talked about her opponents, “No matter how much disdain they have for me I refuse to kneel down and kiss the ring of the good old boy network,” said Gardner.
After the prayer service, she said, “It’s not about me it’s about changing the system that’s broke and the city residents put me in place to make changes, this about supporting those changes.”
Gardner supporter said they plan to go to Jefferson City next week to fight a bill that they said would make it easier to remove her from office. The police union has said it will continue to call attention to what it said are Gardner’s misconduct and hypocrisy.