Over the past month, St. Louis Tea Party bloggers have made their case against local control of the city's police department. Bill Hennessy set forth that the US Constitution grants no standing to political divisions smaller than a state. Numerous arguments have been made at 24thState.com ranging from the principled, (Who Polices the Police?) to the pragmatic (St. Louis Police Pension: A Pot of Gold) and everything in between (State Control of the City of St. Louis?).
A vote on the local control bill (HB 71) could come as early as today, 2/17/2011.
The Speaker of the Missouri House, Steve Tilley, has been a leading advocate for local control of the St. Louis Police Department. In his zeal to pass local control, he's gone so far as to appoint an ally of the New Black Panther Party to a House leadership position. As committees were formed, Tilley assigned Jamilah Nasheed (pictured below) to chair Urban Issues. That's the same committee to which he later assigned the Local Control bill. This raises serious questions about Tilley's judgement.
Make no mistake, this is not about Rep. Nasheed who's personal story ranges from tragic to redemptive. If the people of Missouri's 60th house district want her to represent them, so be it. However, that does not mean that a Missouri House dominated by Republicans should place her in a leadership position. Speaker Tilley has demonstrated a lack of judgement and opportunistic leadership in his rush to get the Local Control bill passed.
|From left: Jamalah Rogers, Talibdin El Amin, Jamilah Nasheed, and an unidentified member of the New Black Panthers|