At a community meeting in the Bevo Mill neighborhood, concerned residents confronted police about the two murders that took place recently in their south city community.
A clerk was murdered June 10 at a 7-Eleven at Gravois and Bates.
A 19-year-old clerk was also murdered May 31 at the Quick Stop at Chippewa and Bates. Police arrested and charged, Joseph Fox, with the Quick Stop murder.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson told residents that Fox was a repeat offender. He says his department is adequately patrolling the area and tracking down suspects but city judges are letting repeat offenders off the hook with probation.
“He’d had numerous encounters with law enforcement, numerous encounters with the court system. They’re should have been more engagement and he shouldn’t of been out, able to re-offend so quickly,” said Dotson.
The chief called on the public to sit in the courtroom when suspects are convicted and pressure judges for tougher sentences.
“To sit in a courtroom when a person is convicted of a crime or pleads guilty to a crime, tell the judge our neighborhoods have been victimized, our neighborhood has been terrorized in some cases by this person and we need to have real consequences and outcomes,” said Dotson.
Presiding Judge Phillip Heagney told NewsChannel 5 over the phone that he supports Chief Dotson and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Judge Heagney says he encourages the public to attend hearings and sentencings but he would not comment about the amount of probation given to repeat offenders.
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