By Huey Dessalines
January 23, 2020
SAINT LOUIS: Kim Gardner, the first New Afrikan circuit attorney in Saint Louis, is suing the City and the local white Police Union (SLPOA) after what she claims is a “broad campaign of collusive conduct” to obstruct her carrying out the duties of her office. Gardner is perceived as being a “progressive prosecutor” in the vein of Chesa Boudin (San Francisco), Wesley Bell (Saint Louis County), Larry Krasner (Philadelphia), and others. She made the news for maintaining a list of thirty six police officers, who she would not call to testify on the witness stand due to their established habits of lying, noncooperation, and other obstructionist tactics, the establishment of diversion programs that supposedly help keep people out of prison, and the prosecution of former Republican Missouri Governor Eric Greitens for charges stemming from his photographing a woman with whom he was having an affair in an act of blackmail.
Her prosecution of Greitens brought about an investigation of her office after a perjury case stemming from an individual affiliated with the investigation. In essence, Gardner is weaponizing her perceived status as a gadfly to the majority white Missouri political establishment and her nationally oppressed status to attempt to hide the fact that she, too, is an agent of the ruling class and part of that political establishment. This is bourgeois infighting being masked as a defense of a principled servant of the people, which we know that no prosecutor can be under the US imperialist system. The office she holds, much like the other so-called “progressive prosecutors”, is inherently oppressive. The office of Prosecuting/Circuit/District Attorney is inherently oppressive. The logic that Gardner is using is the same logic that Kamala Harris, failed 2020 Democratic Presidential dog and pony show contestant, used. Harris, like Gardner, is a prosecutor (former prosecutor in Harris’s case) that postures as a “strong Black woman speaking truth to power”, yet occupies a position that is directly responsible for exercising ruling class power over Black and working class people.
Gardner has made an enemy of notable local fascist pig Jeffrey Roorda, who leads the fascist Saint Louis Police Officers’ Association, headquartered in the city’s heavily white South Side. The police unions in Saint Louis are segregated, with the SLPOA representing the colonizer descended police and the Ethical Society of Police (ESOP) representing New Afrikan and other nonwhite police. In Saint Louis, the police have made international news for oftentimes violent infighting between New Afrikan and white police.
White police have assaulted Black police officers at protests, been sued for racially harassing Black officers, and engaged in all sorts of embarrassing inter-departmental abuses that have been displayed to the masses and have attracted federal attention. Kim Gardner had a big show at Harris-Stowe State University last week when noted prosecutor Marilyn Mosby of Baltimore and countless other New Afrikan female prosecutors got together and rallied outside Mel Carnahan Courthouse Make no mistake, despite the ruling class quarreling with each other and suing each other in courts of bourgeois law, both wings, the “progressive” wing represented by Gardner and the openly reactionary wing represented by the likes of Mayor Lyda Krewson and Jeff Roorda, have a vested interest in forestalling the development of a fighting revolutionary movement in Saint Louis and the whole country.
Voting these people in and out of office every few years serves no purpose. Were Kim Gardner truly interested in the welfare of the people in the criminal injustice system, she would be working outside of the enemy system to abolish bourgeois prisons, bourgeois prosecutor’s offices, and the United States. Instead, she struggles in a self-interested way to keep her job, and uses a progressive mask to do so. Revolutionaries oppose both Kim Gardner and those that she is suing, and continue to build people’s power outside of this farcical system that can not even keep its petty personal conflicts from spilling out into the pages of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch.