On Wednesday night, a hit-and-run driver killed 11-year-old Maurice Richards as he crossed State Street. As the boy lay dying in the street, motorists simply swerved around him, like another pothole to avoid.
Every day is a gamble in East St. Louis, says Goldie Taylor. She should know. East St. Louis is her hometown.
East St. Louis is a city full of “condemned homes, abandoned commercial structures, and empty, weed-strewn lots [that] tell the story of a place that long ago fell on its knees and never got up.”
“There was no crosswalk, no stoplight to regulate the traffic where Maurice was hit. In fact, there are no working traffic lights anywhere in the city.”
This is the city that sits in the shadow of the shining Gateway Arch and the St. Louis we see in guide books. This is America. How can this be?