Prosecutors in St. Louis initially declined to bring charges against a man who allegedly attempted to carjack a marked police SUV while two officers were inside, according to police. After backlash, the suspect was charged with a weapons infraction. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sought charges of first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and resisting arrest against a 27-year-old suspected carjacker, according to Fox News.
The attempted carjacking took place shortly after 3 am over the weekend when officers were responding to reports of gunfire. While enroute, a man reportedly stepped in front of their car then walked around to the passenger side and pointed a gun at the officers. Police didn’t say if the patrol car’s lights were activated at the time of the attempted robbery.
After initially declining to bring any charges, prosecutors filed a weapons charge against 27-year-old Allen Lee Robinson. The charge of unlawful use of a weapon is a Class E felony, the least severe felony in Missouri. It is punishable by up to four years in prison or one year in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner settled on the weapons charge and cast doubt on the accusations that the suspect attempted to carjack a police vehicle. “Any suggestion that the evidence provided by SLMPD supports charge of robbery 1st/carjacking in this incident is an unfortunate and inaccurate characterization,” Gardner said in a statement. “Investigations take time, and we should wait until the facts are submitted and reviewed.”
Gardner is the same DA who opted to bring felony charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey during the George Floyd riots in 2020. The McCloskey’s gained national recognition when they stood armed outside their home after a group of BLM rioters broke through a gate and started protesting on their lawn. Gardner ultimately charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon, as well as an additional misdemeanor charge. She later used the charges as a selling point during a campaign fundraising event.
“Kim Gardner’s action toward the McCloskeys is outrageous,” Missouri Governor Mike Parson wrote in a tweet at the time. “Even worse, the Circuit Attorney’s office has admitted there is a backlog of cases and dozens of homicides that haven’t been prosecuted, yet she has accelerated this case forward.” The McCloskey’s later pleaded guilty to a minor assault charge but were then pardoned by Parson.
St. Louis has had one of the western hemisphere’s highest murder rates for about a decade. In 2020, the city recorded an astonishing murder rate of 87 per 100,000, which outpaces Mexico’s most dangerous cartel hotspots.