Protesters happy with public safety director nomination, but say - KMOV.com

Protesters happy with public safety director nomination, but say it will not stop protests

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards has been named the new Director of Public Safety. This new role for him will begin on November 6th.

A change in leadership is something the Stockley Verdict protesters have been demanding, but now that change has happened, the protests have not stopped. A group of 40-50 people marched throughout downtown St. Louis Saturday night. 

Mhina Nightsage has participated in several of these marches. She's thrilled Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards was appointed to this position, where he will be overseeing the St. Louis city police department.

"It was time for our mayor to take a definitive step and take action, not just talk about the change she wanted to see," said Nightsage.

However, she says this is only the first step in the change protesters want, "This is the beginning and we'll see where it goes."

Friend of Judge Edwards and director of Better Family Life, James Clark, says this is a big win for the city of St. Louis.

"This was one of the smartest appointments in St. Louis in probably about the last 50 years," said Clark. 

He says Edwards is the man for the job because of his experience in criminal prosecution and his background, growing up in North City.

"St. Louis City police officers are going to be held to a much higher standard. They are going to receive the necessary training and cultural competency," said Clark.

Supporters of the Judge Edwards appointment appreciate his understanding of balancing the demands of the public and keeping the public safe.

"We have to get rid of the binary that says people are either 'good' or 'bad.' We need to understand the complex problems people are facing," said Nightsage. 

Although happy, protesters say this change will not change their drive.

"I don't think we're running out of steam. There are many more steps that need to be taken," said Nightsage.

Clark says this change is just motivation. "I think that when you have this much leverage that you must continue to push," said Clark. 

Judge Edwards has been the 22nd Circuit Court Judge for the last 25 years. He is a graduate of Saint Louis University and SLU Law School. 

Mayor Krewson says the current Public Safety Director, Charlene Deeken, will stay on as the deputy director of the city after Judge Edwards takes on his new position.

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