Ferguson activist turned lawmaker resigns from Legislature
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson activist who became a prominent urban voice in Missouri’s largely conservative Legislature, is giving up his House seat, in part due to mental health struggles.
Franks was first elected in 2016, two years after he led protests in Ferguson after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Franks was also a leader of 2017 protests in St. Louis after a white former police officer was acquitted of killing a black suspect.
Franks, a 34-year-old Democrat, announced his resignation Thursday, the next-to-last day of the session.
In a statement, Franks says the job has taken a physical and mental toll. He cites struggles with anxiety and depression and notes that in the past year he lost his best friend and godson to gun violence.