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Protesters march downtown to oppose federal anti-crime initiative

Protesters march downtown to oppose federal anti-crime initiative

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ST. LOUIS — About 100 protesters marched to federal buildings through downtown St. Louis Saturday night to protest a new initiative targeting violent crime that will bring 50 federal investigators to the city.

The protesters called for Mayor Lyda Krewson’s resignation after she supported Operation Legend, which uses federal officers to help target the city’s high homicide rate.

One of the protest organizers, Wes Schnitker, said “we don’t want federal officers in our city. We’ve been moving toward deincarceration and this is moving us in the wrong direction.”

Elijah Foggy, another protester, said he was worried about officers tied to the Trump administration coming into the city.

“These officers are not going to be culturally aware of St. Louis, they’re not from here,” Foggy said. “Are they going to turn against the people here, are they going to attack the protesters in the street?”

The protest started about 7 p.m. at the Old Courthouse, then moved to the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse before marchers congregated outside the Robert A. Young Federal Building. The building was left with blue graffiti with messages including “go home” and “defund the police.”Protesters at one point chanted “resign, Lyda, and take the feds with you.”

Police trailed protesters but there were no confrontations by 10 p.m.

Krewson defended her support for the program on Friday, saying that the federal officers wouldn’t be used during protests and would help city police investigate the high number of homicides.

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