St. Louis officials turn to feds for help on gun crimes
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Homicides are on the rise in St. Louis, and city officials are increasingly turning to the federal government for help.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis has issued federal charges in dozens of gun possession cases since an amendment to the Missouri Constitution made it difficult to obtain state charges against convicted felons caught with guns.
Police Chief Sam Dotson said he also is taking some homicide cases to U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan in part because he believes federal judges and juries are tougher on crime.
Callahan said the increasing crime rate in the city and Amendment 5, passed by the Missouri Legislature in 2014, is evidence of a state legislature with a "complete disconnect with urban violence."