KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Metropolis is reforming police procedures after criticism from black organizations about police conduct throughout practically 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 mentioned Smith would stay “as we climate our present disaster and in addition as we proceed to deal with our points associated to violent crime and the excessive variety of homicides in Kansas Metropolis.”
Lucas mentioned after a closed assembly of the Kansas Metropolis Police Board of Commissioners that town would ask an outdoor company to evaluation 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; evaluation officers’ use of tear fuel and projectiles; present updates to town council on the division’s neighborhood engagement efforts.
Lucas mentioned he hoped a evaluation of tear fuel 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 mentioned the adjustments addressed long-standing points, not solely considerations raised through the protests over the death of George Floyd, the handcuffed black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police on Might 25.
“It additionally acknowledges that this second isn’t about particular person protests on the plaza or in Kansas Metropolis,” Lucas mentioned. “However as a substitute how we will modernize policing, how we will construct belief between police and our communities, and albeit, how we can assist remedy most of the challenges now we have in Kansas Metropolis’s violent crime.”
The announcement got here shortly after Jackson County’s prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, mentioned she was reaching out to Kansas Metropolis protesters claiming to be victims of police misconduct, urging them to report their allegations on-line.
Peaceable daytime demonstrations in Kansas Metropolis typically have devolved into violence at evening. Police have been pelted with rocks and bottles, and officers have used pepper spray and tear fuel on protesters. On Thursday, 22-year-old Matthew Madden, who initially was arrested on suspicion of throwing water bottles at cops throughout Tuesday’s protests, was charged in federal court with illegally possessing a firearm.
However demonstrations have grown calmer, with protesters marching peacefully Thursday evening by means of the upscale Nation Membership Plaza restaurant and purchasing district with none signal of a police presence.
“We’ve already requested for an investigation of 1 incident during which protesters have been pepper-sprayed by police,” Baker’s workplace mentioned. 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 in every of them yelled at police.
Baker harassed that her workplace has not filed expenses in opposition to protesters arrested for minor offenses similar to strolling on the road or stepping off a curb. These expenses, she mentioned, have been municipal counts filed by town prosecutor’s workplace.
Kansas Metropolis police have arrested about 200 folks through the protests. Lucas mentioned he would think about pardoning all nonviolent protesters.
Within the St. Louis space, the place a whole lot continued to march Thursday, two rewards are being supplied in response to violent outbreaks this week.
The St. Louis Regional Crime Fee mentioned Thursday it’s providing a reward of as much as $100,000 for data leading to 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 loss of life 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, mentioned. “He didn’t deserve this … it’s so not value 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 members additionally registered to vote.
”This was a transparent occasion of proper versus incorrect,” mentioned soccer coach Eliah Drinkwitz in a Zoom name Thursday. “And we inform our gamers and those that when one thing is incorrect, to face up in opposition to it. And what occurred to George Floyd was incorrect.”