Democrat Rep. Cori Bush Supports St. Louis Prison Riot

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on February 8, 2021

After a prison riot in St. Louis, Democratic politicians and activists take the side of the violent inmates due to supposed “urgent needs” that had not been met.

Cori Bush, 1st term Democratic representative for Missouri’s 1st district, sounded off on Twitter, ignoring the rampant violence and destruction from the riotous inmates, who threw stationary bikes, mattresses, and chairs through the smashed up fourth-floor windows of the St. Louis jail, in favour of supposed vaguely defined wrongs committed against them.

In her Tweet, Bush stated that the inmates, “lives and their rights must be protected,” referencing the grievances the inmates had been alleging lead to their riot.

What were those grievances? 

Supposedly the grievances were in regards to the conditions of the prison in regards to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the restrictions placed on prison visitation and court proceedings.

It should be noted that out of the 633 inmates that there were 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and that courts are still hearing cases in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, although at a slower rate. 

Later in an official statement, Bush said, “I am calling for complete transparency and accountability from the city of St. Louis. Officials must publicly disclose the city’s COVID-19 testing protocols, case rate, and hospitalization data, vaccination plans.”

Tracy Stanton, a prison reform activist from Ex-incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO) referring to the prisoners said, “They are demanding proper heat, they want proper [personal protective equipment], proper clothing and they want proper visits from their families.” 

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Through both Staton, and Bush’s lack of condemnation for the violent acts, perpetrated by the 113 inmates involved in the riot, seems to lend passive support for their actions as if their listed grievances justify what they did.

Jacob Long, a spokesman for the current Democratic mayor of St. Louis  Lyda Krewson seems to flatly reject the social justice stance put forward by Bush, clarifying the flaws in the arguments in the favour of the inmates.

Long stated that:

I imagine they are under the same amount of stress due to COVID restrictions like the rest of us are. Courts haven’t been hearing cases in the 22nd Judicial Circuit. Their family visits have been restricted. But also they are acting out and that is the current situation.

In order to control the population of inmates Long did say that the riot demonstrates the need to have a second detention facility in the area, as a corrections officer was injured and put in the hospital as a result of the prison riot.

The activists from organizations like EXPO argue that “The voices of currently and formerly incarcerated people must be centered in this work. The people closest to the problems are closest to the solutions,” which would seem to be placing perpetrators of crimes into the drivers’ seat of the delivery of punitive action in the judicial system which is an inversion of the justice system.

In the case of the St. Louis prison riot, those 113 inmates involved will likely face additional charges, and from the actions of the mayor so far, and the left-wing prison activists will be ignored. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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