The Missouri NAACP has cautioned African Americans to exercise “extreme caution” when traveling to or through the state due to the recent issuance of State Senate Bill 43 and the mysterious death of Tory Sanders, a young man who died in custody though he wasn’t being charged for any crime.
Before State Senate Bill 43, nicknamed the “Jim Crow Bill,” complainants had to prove that race, gender, or religion were contributing factors to their alleged maltreatment. The new legislation requires complainants to prove that race, gender, or religion were the explicit reasons for an ealleged injustice. According to Hudson, the legislation is “one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in the nation.”
Hudson also talked about the death of Tory Sanders, the second incident that motivated the NAACP to issue the national warning. The 28-year-old Nashville resident suffered from depression and allegedly took a cross-country drive to “clear his head.” When he reached Missouri, he ran out of gas and called his mother to ask if it was safe to call the police for help. Hudson, a father of eight, was then detained by police officers. He was not charged with any crime, but was tased at least three times and would collapse in jail before being taken to a hospital where he died an hour later, according to the Riverfront Times.
Under the new bill, Sanders’ family would have to prove that his race was the explicit reason for his treatment by the police if they planned to sue the state.
The NAACP will continue to issue travel advisories until the state is a safer place for African Americans, according to Hudson.