Blog by Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri is deeply troubled that St. Louis County Council members may not have considered the full ramifications of amending a nuisance-type law that could end up evicting victims of domestic violence or prevent them from calling the police.*
Chapter 825 contains provisions that would harm victims of assault, stalking, harassment and domestic violence, and encourage landlords to evict the victim to avoid license suspension. It would disproportionately impact female tenants and crime victims under the guise of a “nuisance” law.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a civil rights lawsuit today on behalf of Piedmont residents Tina Warren and her son Bryan Jeffers. They have been harassed repeatedly by government officials since Ms. Warren began expressing her disgust with the mayor by flipping him her middle finger.
The problems trace back to April 2014 when Warren and Jeffers’ home was without water for six days while a water main on their street was being repaired. Ms. Warren had called the city daily to inquire when her water would be restored. While driving one of those days, she noticed a group of men working on the main on her street so she stopped to ask them. Before she could exit her car, Mayor Bill Kirkpatrick, in a tirade of expletives, told Warren to mind her own business. Warren began protesting the mayor by extending her middle finger whenever she encountered him.