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Those arrested over two nights of protests and unrest in St. Louis released from jail, police say

Those arrested over two nights of protests and unrest in St. Louis released from jail, police say

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UPDATED at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday with a videotaped response by Circuit Attorney Gardner.

ST. LOUIS — The 36 people arrested during two nights of protests in St. Louis have been released from jail, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Their release drew a rebuke from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who criticized city prosecutors.

Two people were released after being issued a summons, eight were released after prosecutors declined to immediately file charges and the remainder were released while police apply for charges, the spokeswoman, Michelle Woodling, said in an email.

Schmitt, a Republican, took to Twitter on Wednesday to lash out at Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, a Democrat, blaming her for the release.

“In a stunning development, our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner,” he tweeted, along with a video showing a street scene with a burning vehicle and audible gunshots.

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Gardner responded to Schmitt’s claims in a video posted Wednesday to YouTube.

“To be clear, as of right now the police department brought to my office a group of eight individuals involving stealing for prosecution,” Gardner said. “We need police to bring admissible evidence to charge. My office cannot issue any case when there is not admissible evidence. Point blank.”

She said police investigators assured her that when they have the necessary evidence they will return to her office to have the cases prosecuted. Gardner then took aim at Schmitt.

“It is clear that he does not care about justice or safety or the needs of this community,” she said. “He just wants to lodge a politically motivated attack against me, even if it means misleading and lying to the public.”

Police arrested the 36 on suspicion of trespassing, burglary, causing property damage, stealing and assault. They range in age from 17 to 36 but the majority of them are teens and people in their 20s.

Mayor Lyda Krewson said Wednesday that her office is working to persuade the Circuit Attorney’s Office and circuit judges to keep those arrested behind bars.

“It’s important to not send them right back out on the street and I know some of that has been happening,” Krewson said. “So that is not something that is in control of the mayor’s office, or frankly, the police department who work extremely hard to make these arrests and deserve for people to be held so they’re not right back out there doing the same thing.”

Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.


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