The U.S. Department of Justice, along with state and local law enforcement have been busy here in St. Louis recently. Over the last three months, approximately 162 people were arrested and charged with a variety of violent crimes, including gang activity and murder. Now, several people here in the city face charges.
The operation spanned the country and took place over a three-month period that ran from the middle of June through the middle of September. According to a U.S. Marshal, St. Louis has one of the highest murder rates in the country, which is why there were so many individuals arrested here. Reportedly, some of the accused made matters worse by shooting at officers.
Missouri had its own version of this type of operation from May to August during which around 355 people were taken into custody. Making the state a safer place to live is the job of law enforcement, but they must also protect the rights of those they accuse of criminal activity. None of these individuals should take for granted that the investigations that led to their arrests did not violate their rights in some way. Of course, this is just one of the issues that will require a thorough review as they go through the criminal justice system.
Violent crimes often come with severe penalties. For this reason, those arrested during these operations, and anyone else accused of these types of crimes, may want to begin scrutinizing the alleged evidence, the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the arrest as soon as possible. Once the review is complete, the individuals and their criminal defense teams can begin exploring the options that could provide the best possible outcome to the charges considering the circumstances.