On the night of April 4, an uprising broke out at the downtown St. Louis City Justice Center. People escaped their jail cells and broke windows, set fires and hung signs pleading for help. In the fourth such protest since the start of the year, the detained people were decrying the unsafe conditions of the jail, but also the length of stay.
The men’s central demand: “We want court dates.” The majority are being held pretrial, meaning they have not been convicted of a crime and are legally innocent. But as the pandemic has suspended court hearings in the city for months, people awaiting trial have been suffering.