CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is calling out state leadership for not stopping the violence he says is plaguing the Show-Me State.
“Unfortunately, that kind of cowardice and lawlessness affects all of us,” Greitens tells me in an interview I conducted with him Wednesday.
Greitens' comments come two weeks after he came to the aid of two shooting victims in St. Louis.
“I’m not weighing in on politics. I’m weighing in on the tragedy. These were two great kids. They were 20 and 21 years old. And they were gunned down, in daylight, at one of the busiest corners in the city of St. Louis.” Greitens tells me he’s met with the young men’s families. “At a time with a loss like that, they just needed a hug. And they needed to that people were interested in their boys.” and Greitens says that increase in violence reaches well beyond the St. Louis city limits. “Not only lives are being lost, but businesses are leaving the state. That affects all of us. I know, because I hear from them literally every day, that the people of Southeast Missouri are so frustrated by the cowardice of our politicians who refuse to stand up and support our law enforcement officers.” Do you think governor parson is doing enough right now to support law enforcement? I asked.
"No. He's not," the former Governor responded.
Governor Mike Parson called lawmakers back to the state capitol this week to address violent crime in special session. Greitens says, that’s not enough. “There’s nothing that a politician in Jefferson City is going to say and nothing that they’re going to sign that’s going to change this and save lives in the way we need to right now.” Greitens also points to the actions of St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner, who he says led a criminal effort to remove him from office. A recent judge’s ruling calls on Gardner to release documents and other information surrounding the 2018 invasion of privacy charge she filed, then later dropped against him. “And it’s good that now the judge is finally now forcing Kim Gardner to follow the law. At least in this case.”
When I asked him to weigh in on a solution to the violence, Greitens pointed to the steps taken under his administration to work with police, he says, to protect peaceful demonstrators while maintaining law and order. Greitens recently filed paperwork making him eligible to run for state office in 2024. I asked him where those plans stand. “I’m proud of everything we were able to accomplish. And I’m going to continue to serve in the Navy Reserves. I’m going to continue to find ways to make a difference and would certainly be open to potentially serving again in office here in Missouri.”