Groups urge change after release of vehicle stops report

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, June 03 2015 Jun 3, 2015 Wednesday, June 03, 2015 1:51:00 PM CDT June 03, 2015 in News
By: Chris Gothner, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A group of religious and community organizers held a news conference Wednesday calling for a change in how police departments operate after Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office released its annual Vehicle Stops Report earlier in the week. 

The group, which includes representatives from organizations likes Empower Missouri's Human Rights Task Force and Missouri Faith Voices, said police need to improve training and community policing initiatives in order to reduce disparities in law enforcement. The groups called for a statewide policing summit in order to tackle these issues and planned to meet with staff from Koster's office on Wednesday to formally request a policing summit be convened. 

"We continue to hear the cries of people of color who feel victimized by a system that is built on implicit biases," Rev. Cassandra Gould, pastor of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Jefferson City, said. "We are willing and asking police departments to be in dialogue with us."

Organizers said unconscious biases are likely a factor when it comes to racial disparities in traffic stops and arrests. The group said high racial disparities in resisting arrest charges show law enforcement needs training with regard to de-escalating tense situations. 

Some praised local law enforcement agencies during the news conference. Rev. Molly Housh Gordon of Columbia's Unitarian Universalist congregation, praised Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton for his commitment to community policing.

"We were very pleased that Chief Burton was open to that conversation and concerned about how we can make improvements," Housh Gordon said. 

However, Housh Gordon said local police departments need to go a step further and incorporate improved bias training for officers.

"Those good intentions are wonderful and a great place to start, but we really need them to translate into training throughout the department," Housh Gordon said. 

William Alexander, minister at Urban Empowerment in Columbia and a resident of Jefferson City, also offered praise to area police departments.

"The officers that I've come across in Jefferson City have been positive," Alexander said. "They are very friendly, very professional." 

Alexander said both law enforcement and the public need to educate each other. He said he has brought in Columbia police officers to work with youth to discuss how to respond to police.

"We as African-Americans need to be educated a little more on what we need to do, how we need to respond," Alexander said. "Officers need to be educated a little bit more on what they need to do and how they need to respond to us as a people."

Alexander said "once that education hits, everything will come together."

Boone County Sheriff's Department Det. Tom O'Sullivan told KOMU 8 News Monday law enforcement officers often aren't able to determine the race of a driver before making a traffic stop. He reiterated those comments Wednesday and said vehicle stop statistics lack necessary context, like whether stops were made with legitimate probable cause.

"It's a lot of apples and oranges," O'Sullivan said. "This department does not pull people over without probable cause."

The attorney general's report also noted Monday the numbers contained in the Vehicle Stops Report do not necessarily reflect bias on the part of law enforcement.

"While statistical disproportion does not prove that law enforcement officers are making vehicle stops based on the perceived race or ethnicity of the driver," Koster said, "this compilation and analysis of data provides law enforcement, legislators, and the public a starting point as they consider improvements to process and changes of policy to address these issues."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY - A state medical board suspended the license for a doctor after finding he improperly gave drugs to and... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 9:27:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday afternoon on suspicion of burglary. Deputies were dispatched... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a suspected improvised explosive device has been detonated near a suburban Kansas City patrol... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:37:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:07:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Police Department will be participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Around one hundred years ago a team of astronomers confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity using the... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Science
JEFFERSON CITY - A small fire damaged an apartment building on Clark Avenue early Friday morning. At about 4:00... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MarineParents.com, which is based in Columbia, helped grant a mother's wish for her fallen Marine, Cody Haley. 780... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:21:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of Missouri's right-to-work law are one step closer to having it delayed. A coalition of unions... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Hotels in Columbia are already over 95 percent full for the upcoming eclipse weekend. Megan McConachie, Strategic... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A man accused of providing the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer is facing... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:23:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It just got a lot easier to serve alcohol over the forthcoming eclipse weekend in Jefferson City.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - A man was shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon,... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A toddler and mother were thrown from a car and two other people were hurt in a... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson says he's considering running for state auditor. Richardson told The... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:17:32 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Sen. Roy Blunt agreed with some of President Donald Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Virginia and condemned white supremacists... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her potential Republican rival Attorney General Josh Hawley are meeting at the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:46:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a Missouri lawmaker posting and deleting a comment hoping President Trump is... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
12pm 84°
1pm 86°
2pm 87°
3pm 88°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld