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Taser International

  St. Charles County officials are putting off the purchase of body cameras for police until state lawmakers clarify what images captured by the cameras would have to be made available to the public. 

Talking Politics: 2014 Election Preview

Oct 27, 2014
State of Missouri

 

In this episode of Talking Politics, Prof. Terry Smith of Columbia College gives us an overview of the upcoming 2014 election.  Marshall Griffin gives us a look at Tom Schweich’s bid for state auditor that appears to be turning into a bid for governor. Finally, KBIA’s Bram Sable-Smith will walk us through the Columbia Police Department’s implementation of body cameras.

roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

  US Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, met with local law enforcement in Jefferson City on Monday to discuss when police use military surplus equipment.

The meeting, which was closed to the media, comes almost two months after police responded to protests following the death of Michael Brown with tear gas, armored vehicles and other military equipment acquired through Department of Defense and Homeland Security programs.

Blunt said law enforcement officials he has talked to only use the equipment for defensive purposes and that programs like these are beneficial.

Police forcibly dispersed dozens of protesters in Ferguson early Wednesday morning after hours of  confrontation and the smashing of a window at the Beauty Town shop. Tensions had been running high since Tuesday morning when a memorial for Michael Brown burned down close to where he was killed.

KBIA file photo

An eastern Missouri deputy has resigned after allegedly putting pepper spray on pizza before giving it to inmates.

Scott Davidson via Flickr

Another St. Louis area police officer is out of a job over threats to Ferguson shooting protesters found online.

A forum Thursday evening peering into Ferguson’s longstanding tensions as well as the St. Louis region’s racial divisions became angry and heated, with most of a crowd’s ire directed at the town’s mayor.

Join us here as we live blog from our event Thursday evening, Ferguson and Beyond: A Community Conversation. The event will be from 6-8 p.m. at Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Mo.

NPR's Michel Martin will host and moderate the event.

Null Value via Flickr

A federal lawsuit alleges that police in Ferguson and St. Louis County used excessive force and falsely arrested innocent bystanders amid attempts to quell widespread unrest after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Scott Davidson via Flickr

A suburban St. Louis police officer shown on cellphone video pointing his rifle at demonstrators in Ferguson and threatening them is now out of a job.

St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that police Lieutenant Ray Albers resigned Thursday. A phone call seeking comment from Albers was not returned.

The confrontation happened August 19th during protests that followed the Ferguson police shooting death of Michael Brown.

Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer brought about an intense examination of the conduct, racial composition and “militarization” of local police departments.

But one topic that hasn’t been talked about that much is how elected representatives exert fairly little direct control over the region’s law enforcement agencies.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has nominated former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom to be the state’s new public-safety director, a move that will put Isom in charge of a number of diverse state agencies – from the Highway Patrol to the Gaming Commission.

Isom served 24 years on the St. Louis police force, and retired as chief 18 months ago. He holds doctoral degrees in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he has served as a professor for the past year.

Null Value / Flickr

A large crowd has gathered at the site where St. Louis police officers shot and killed a knife-wielding man today after a reported convenience store robbery.

Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer placed St. Louis in an international spotlight. In the past week, the region experienced a torrent of anger, unrest, violence and sorrow.

The 18-year-old’s death positioned the world’s camera lens on riveting images of looting, protesting and overwhelming force from law enforcement. Derrick Robinson, the bishop at Kingdom Destiny Fellowship International, contends there’s a longstanding tension within the soul of St. Louis.

In a press conference Friday morning, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson identified the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Saturday as Darren Wilson. Jackson said Wilson has been with the police department for 6 years and had no record of  disciplinary action. He also said Wilson was treated for injuries Saturday.

Austin Federa / KBIA

As demonstrations continue in Ferguson Missouri in response to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, youth in the community are grappling with what is happening in their community. A team of KBIA reporters on Thursday went to the apartment complex where Brown was shot five days earlier to have conversations with young people about the past and future of their town.

The sound of honking horns became a symbol Thursday night along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

It was the first night since Saturday -- the day Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer -- that traffic had been allowed to move freely along one of the main commercial strips in Ferguson. There was no line of police in riot gear and armored vehicles facing off against a crowd. The few officers spotted were in regular uniforms. The atmosphere felt more like a party than a protest.

For 120 years, Ferguson, Mo. -- currently home to 21,203 people -- has been a little city that has grown in good times and evolved in hard times, with little attention from folks outside the St. Louis region.

That changed in a flash of gunfire last Saturday when a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African-American 18-year-old who was unarmed.

Update: After least four says of of denial of service attacks, the main St. Louis County government website was restored on Monday, August 18. Work was still continuing on restoring auxiliary sites.

Updated at 12:30 on Friday August 15 with the latest on the St. Louis County website.

(Updated at 4:20 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 14)

As of Thursday, the Missouri Highway Patrol is now in charge in Ferguson. And Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who announced the change, said at a news conference that the public should see a difference at once.

The St. Louis County police have been widely criticized for their aggressive, even militaristic stance -- using armored vehicles and tear gas -- to quell protests stemming from last Saturday's police shooting. 

When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson. 

What he said he saw was striking: Police from neighboring municipalities had formed a “human shield” around the scene. Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was screaming and crying over not knowing what happened to her 18-year-old son. And Brown’s body was still in the street after being shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

The chief of the St. Louis County Police says a black teenager fatally shot by officers Saturday was killed during an altercation with authorities.

But as Chief Jon Belmar was speaking at a news conference Sunday morning, a few hundred angry protesters carrying signs converged on the police station taunting police with chants of "Don't shoot me," according to The Associated Press.

Columbia Police
KOMUnews / Flickr

Two bills to further protect on duty officers are currently awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon's signature.  The Columbia Police Officers' Association has supported legislation that would make it a felony to disarm a law enforcement agent of any weapon, not simply their handgun. 

Scott Davidson / Flickr

The Columbia Police Department is still investigating how the bicyclist on I-70 was struck and killed.  Officials told KBIA they are currently waiting for DNA testing from the vehicle they said was involved in the accident.  In a press release the department also believes they have located the driver involved in the accident.

Officers found the human remains near the mile marker 130 on I-70 -- after several drivers reported seeing the remains.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Police chiefs, mayors and prosecutors from Kansas City and St. Louis will join with law enforcement experts this month for a four-day Urban Crime Summit.

Jason Rojas / Flickr

Some union members are pushing St. Louis police leadership to buy more powerful guns to replace the 9 mm semi-automatic weapons officers have been carrying for more than a decade.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the police department has set aside $1.4 million to buy new pistols for the department's roughly 1,300 officers. Beretta has stopped making the 9 mm handguns, and the Police Officers' Association wants them to be replaced with .40-caliber pistols.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Missouri prosecutors advising police on undercover investigations now have greater legal protection that their conduct won't violate ethical rules.

dreamstime

A St. Louis senator is making a fourth attempt at raising fines for seat belt violations.

Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny wants to increase the fine from $10 to $50 for people caught not wearing seat belts in vehicles. His bill was to be heard Wednesday by a Senate committee, marking the fourth consecutive year that he has presented it.

The percentage of people using seat belts in Missouri lags behind the national average. Keaveny hopes a higher fine would encourage more people to buckle up.

Columbia Public Schools making schools safer

Dec 11, 2012
students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

Improvements in safety are on the horizon for many of Columbia’s public schools.

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