KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City is reforming police procedures after criticism from black organizations about police conduct throughout almost every week of protests in addition to long-standing pressure between the division and minorities, the mayor introduced Thursday.
A coalition of civil rights organizations demanded Wednesday that Police Chief Rick Smith be fired. However Mayor Quinton Lucas stated Smith would stay “as we climate our present disaster and in addition as we proceed to handle our points associated to violent crime and the excessive variety of homicides in Kansas City.”
Lucas stated after a closed assembly of the Kansas City Police Board of Commissioners that the town would ask an outdoor company to evaluate all police-involved shootings; create whistleblower protections for officers; finish a division coverage of not sending possible trigger statements to prosecutors in officer-involved shootings; evaluate officers’ use of tear gasoline and projectiles; present updates to the town council on the division’s neighborhood engagement efforts.
Lucas stated he hoped a evaluate of tear gasoline and projectile use would result in a brand new coverage within the close to future.
The town introduced Wednesday that $2.5 million in personal funding has been donated to purchase police physique cameras.
Lucas stated the adjustments addressed long-standing points, not solely issues raised throughout the protests over the demise of George Floyd, the handcuffed black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police on Might 25.
“It additionally acknowledges that this second is just not about particular person protests on the plaza or in Kansas City,” Lucas stated. “However as a substitute how we will modernize policing, how we will construct belief between police and our communities, and albeit, how we may help clear up most of the challenges we’ve got in Kansas City’s violent crime.”
The announcement got here shortly after Jackson County’s prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, stated she was reaching out to Kansas City protesters claiming to be victims of police misconduct, urging them to report their allegations on-line.
Peaceable daytime demonstrations in Kansas City usually have devolved into violence at night time. Police have been pelted with rocks and bottles, and officers have used pepper spray and tear gasoline on protesters. On Thursday, 22-year-old Matthew Madden, who initially was arrested on suspicion of throwing water bottles at police officers throughout Tuesday’s protests, was charged in federal court docket with illegally possessing a firearm.
However demonstrations have grown calmer, with protesters marching peacefully Thursday night time by means of the upscale Nation Membership Plaza restaurant and procuring district with none signal of a police presence.
“We now have already requested for an investigation of 1 incident during which protesters had been pepper-sprayed by police,” Baker’s workplace stated. Video shared on social media confirmed a confrontation Wednesday throughout a protest on the Nation Membership Plaza during which officers appeared to make use of pepper spray on two protesters after one among them yelled at police.
Baker careworn that her workplace has not filed costs towards protesters arrested for minor offenses akin to strolling on the road or stepping off a curb. These costs, she stated, had been municipal counts filed by the town prosecutor’s workplace.
Kansas City police have arrested about 200 individuals throughout the protests. Lucas stated he would contemplate pardoning all nonviolent protesters.
Within the St. Louis space, the place tons of continued to march Thursday, two rewards are being provided in response to violent outbreaks this week.
The St. Louis Regional Crime Fee stated Thursday it’s providing a reward of as much as $100,000 for data resulting in the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters who opened fireplace early Tuesday on a police line, leaving 4 officers with non-life threatening accidents.
The group CrimeStoppers is also providing a $40,000 reward within the demise of retired St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn, 77, who was fatally shot by individuals who broke right into a pawn store early Tuesday. Police Chief John Hayden was among the many crowd of mourners who marched Thursday to commemorate Dorn.
“He was an excellent man,” Dorn’s niece, Tandy Stewart, stated. “He didn’t deserve this … it’s so not price it.”
In Columbia, the College of Missouri athletes, together with a number of coaches and college leaders, marched Wednesday to protest racial injustice. The march ended on the Boone County Courthouse, the place the protesters took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the size of time a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. Sixty-two of the individuals additionally registered to vote.
”This was a transparent occasion of proper versus fallacious,” stated soccer coach Eliah Drinkwitz in a Zoom name Thursday. “And we inform our gamers and those who when one thing is fallacious, to face up towards it. And what occurred to George Floyd was fallacious.”