Antonio French

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Letter: Antonio French rationally considers all perspectives

Regarding Antonio French's column "Governors choose cruelty over compassion" (May 20): Antonio French, unlike other Post-Dispatch staff columnists, rationally addresses both sides of an issue. He doesn’t mock either side while challenging the reader. In my opinion, French should write more often and others less. Jim Beatty • O’Fallon, Ill.
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Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: Rare opportunity exists for police reform just as many turn to defund, abolish

The eyes of the nation are on Minnesota this week following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by Officer Kim Potter. In what has become an all-too-familiar routine, the action of a single officer has brought thousands of protesters to the streets, met with thousands of armed law enforcement personnel from police departments, state agencies and national guard. The cost to taxpayers and property owners could be measured in the millions of dollars. The cost to Wright, his family and his community is immeasurable. You would think America would have learned by now. But nearly seven years after Ferguson, policing in America remains as divisive as ever.
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Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: St. Louis enters into a grand experiment

And so it begins. With Tuesday’s election results, St. Louis government has completed its shift to the far left and entered into a grand experiment to see if such a government can actually produce results and coexist with a state government shifting as far to the right. Let me first...
Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: There are many ways to measure Kim Gardner's success

Kim Gardner is no stranger to being judged. As St. Louis’ top prosecutor, she has stood before judges and juries inside courtrooms. As a former state representative and now twice-elected circuit attorney, she’s been judged by voters, who have mostly approved of her at the ballot box. The metrics are clear in those contests. She who garners the most votes wins the election. She who gets the favorable verdict wins in the courtroom. But how should Gardner’s success be judged in her most consequential role: criminal justice reformer? That’s harder to measure.
Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: New election system, low turnout harmed Black voter influence

The people have spoken. Well, at least the 22% of us who actually bothered showing up to vote in Tuesday’s first-of-its-kind primary election in St. Louis city. And of that 22%, half of them voted to push the city further to the left. Interestingly, St. Louis progressives are being joined by Missouri conservatives in celebrating this shift, the latter delighting in the further isolation of the city from the rest of the state’s politics and rich fundraising possibilities from vilifying the Democratic socialist policies supported by a growing list of St. Louis elected officials.
Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: Voting changes introduce a new level of shenanigans in St. Louis city elections

Let the games begin. A radical change to how voting is done in St. Louis city has introduced a new level of gamesmanship to next week’s mayoral and aldermanic elections. Campaigns and their supporters are actively encouraging voters to cast ballots not only for their candidates but also for specific opponents in the hope of influencing who makes it to the next round. Meanwhile, in a half-dozen aldermanic races, the results of Tuesday’s election are completely meaningless because, regardless of the results, the two candidates will face each other again in April. I warned readers in my Nov. 1 column that this would happen. Another example of the unintended consequences of a well-intentioned but ill-informed reform effort.
Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: As 'workhouse' activists pivot, so must St. Louis city leaders

Since the spring of 2018, there has been an organized effort to force the closure of St. Louis’ medium security jail, commonly but inaccurately known as the workhouse. The campaign has grown in strength and political clout, gaining corporate support from none other than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and at least one mayoral candidate saying that closing the workhouse is her “top priority” should she become mayor. But the Feb. 6 riot at the other city jail, the City Justice Center, has forced those supporters to pivot from backing a policy that clearly worsened conditions for inmates at the Justice Center to now advocating for the well-being of those inmates.
Saint Louis County, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: No systemic racism? County police department needs an intervention.

The situation in St. Louis County went from bad to worse this week as yet another police department worker dropped a racial slur. Meanwhile, the last “N-word” bomber in the department received praise and best wishes from county government. This all comes as a potentially costly racial-discrimination lawsuit was filed in circuit court Wednesday. The situation caused both the County Council chair and the group presenting Black officers to call out the complete lack of leadership as systemic racism in St. Louis County continues to go unaddressed.
Saint Louis, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: Enough thoughts and prayers already

Let’s stop with the thoughts and prayers already. The senseless murder of 7-year-old Dmyah Fleming this week was tragic, heartbreaking and unimaginably painful for her grandmother, who also lost her 26-year-old son in the same Central West End shooting. But we need to stop acting like it is surprising. Children being murdered in St. Louis has become all too normal.
Clayton, MOSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

Antonio French: Centene reminds us of the cost of a divided house

The death and violence plaguing poor Black neighborhoods in north St. Louis has a direct effect on the city’s wealthy suburbs. That fact, long ignored by state and regional leaders, suddenly became real for the city of Clayton this week. Clayton Mayor Michelle Harris told the Post-Dispatch’s Jacob Barker that...