National, state and city police union officials called Monday for St. Louis’ chief prosecutor, Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, to resign over a comment she made on Twitter criticizing officers’ actions before a fatal police shooting in St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “This is a disturbing nationwide trend of our local prosecutors failing to fulfill their public responsibilities,” said Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Officers enforcing the law need to be confident that their counterparts in the courtroom will use the full force of law to take and keep bad guys off the streets.”
Last week, St. Louis Alderman Megan Green commented on a deadly encounter in which drug suspect Cortez Shepherd was fatally shot by police. Officers tried to arrest Shepherd, 28, for marijuana possession. When Shepherd reached for his gun, police said, an officer fatally shot him. Police said they recovered a fully loaded revolver, marijuana and other suspected drugs. Several hours later Green said on Twitter that the police encounter that led to Shepherd’s death was a “waste of Police resources” and “never should have happened.” Gardner commented on Green’s tweet, leaving one word on the social media site: “Exactly.” Ed Clark, president of the St. Louis Police Officers Association — which has been critical of Gardner — also called for her ouster, saying she “is sending messages to our officers and the community that she will always side with the criminal, whether he is an armed drug dealer terrorizing a neighborhood or a desperate criminal willing to kill a police officer to avoid returning to prison.” Shepherd’s family has claimed the shooting was not justified. On Monday, Gardner called on the unions to work with her office instead of against it. “Enough is enough,” she said.