CPD, NAACP and community groups hold press conference on violence

3 years 3 months 5 days ago Saturday, July 09 2016 Jul 9, 2016 Saturday, July 09, 2016 2:12:00 PM CDT July 09, 2016 in News
By: Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department and two community organizations held a joint press conference Saturday morning to address the growing violence nationwide. 

The press conference started at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

Speakers included Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, former president of Missouri's chapter of the NAACP, Mary Ratliff, executive director of the Youth Empowerment Zone in Columbia, Lorenzo Lawson, and Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton.

This comes after the past week's events where five Dallas police officers were shot and killed during a Black Lives Matter protest. The protest was organized after two recent shootings of black men by police officers.

Mayor Treece began the press conference by asking that the community come together in unity and support for the victims of the recent shootings. He wants Columbia to celebrate its diversity.

Mary Ratliff with the NAACP spoke next. She asked for the joint meeting with the city, police department and Youth Empowerment Zone.

She said she is deeply troubled by the recent shootings and mourns the deaths of the police officers killed in Dallas and the men shot in Louisiana and Minnesota. 

Ratliff said that she believes most police officers are fair, but some show "dishonor to the uniform they wear."

She said it needs to be acknowledged that there are racial issues in Columbia as well as a mistrust between police and citizens.

"Racial profiling has to stop," Ratliff said. "We are calling for a truce between our black brothers and sisters and police."

Ratliff said Columbia can be a model city if law enforcement and community members make changes to work together.

Lorenzo Lawson spoke next about his daily experiences working with youth in Columbia through the Youth Empowerment Zone.

Lawson said while youth in Columbia may not be murdered by police officers, they are "murdered academically" by having the highest rate of dropout in Columbia's public school system. He also said youth are "economically being murdered" in Columbia due to an inability to find jobs. His biggest concern though is youth "being murdered in the judicial system."

"We can't continue to let our young people be hopeless because when you're hopeless, you will pick up one of those rifles because 'I don't have nothing to lose anyway'," said Lawson.

Burton continued by addressing the shootings in Dallas and noting that he began his law enforcement career 39 years ago with the Dallas Police Academy. 

Burton said that the Columbia Police Department has some challenges ahead but things are going to be different.

When asked how he ensures officers treat everybody the same when doing traffic stops, Burton said CPD officers do not racially profile and that data does not go far enough to show reasons why officers stop people in traffic.

He said CPD officers have had procedural justice training performed by the federal government, are currently in implied bias training and most officers have had crisis prevention training.

Burton also said they are working on de-escalation techniques.

"We don't use force. We respond to resistance," Burton said.

All officials who spoke said they want to work together to make changes in the wake of national violence and make Columbia an example that other cities in America can see as progressive. 

Ratliff said she doesn't want another task force created to do nothing. She wants them to sit down together and create a strategic plan to move forward.

"We've got a problem and we've got to solve it," Ratliff said. "We need to make sure we don't have Ferguson's and Louisiana's and all those places, and Dallas and all those things, here in Columbia by getting on top of it beforehand."

Virginia Law has lived in Columbia for over 40 years and she attended the press conference. She said she supports the police force when they do their job right.

"If they don't, they are not a resource, they are instead a negative force and we certainly don't want that. That's why I was here," Law said.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are making changes to police forces such as de-escalation training and allowing police officers to patrol in pairs or teams.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — The CEO of Dow Inc. has donated $6 million to a new University of Missouri health institute... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 12:49:00 PM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA - Centralia is holding their first monthly meeting on public safety Monday night since the firing of former Centralia... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 11:51:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
KEYTESVILLE- A mid-Missouri father filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against the man accused of causing his disabled daughter's death... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 11:21:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A local group wants to expand the Jefferson City National Cemetery by relocating East Miller Park across... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 10:25:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Columbia Department of Public Health and Human Services is opening community-based pop up flu clinics in Boone... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 10:20:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Moms Demand Action is partnering with Stop the Bleed Coalition to hold crisis first aid training on... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 14 2019 Oct 14, 2019 Monday, October 14, 2019 3:40:00 AM CDT October 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Maries County sheriff's deputies said a drunk driver was to blame in a fatal car crash from early... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:46:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Drivers on I-70 westbound saw 2 mile long delays around mile marker 124 when the Missouri State Highway... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the number of people using the Katy Trail is down by... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The CDC began monitoring the 2019-2020 flu season this weekend. And doctors are urging people to get their... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:55:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Six Columbia churches had their first Sunday service with improved emergency health precautions on Oct. 13. The... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
HARSTBURG – Celebrating another fall season with pumpkin carving, hayrides and a straw maze, the 28th annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
TOKYO (AP) — A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:03:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
LILBOURN, Mo. (AP) — A small earthquake has been reported in southeastern Missouri. The U.S. Geological Survey says... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — One person died after a crash in Cooper County Saturday morning. Haven Pennington, 19, drove her Pontiac... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 4:55:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
There is 5:40 left in the game. North Kansas City's Ronaldo Calderon kicks a field goal to give the... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:36:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The dome of the Missouri Capitol building will be lit pink in honor of breast cancer... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:08:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
HARTSBURG - The Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival announced parking will be moved to the river roads near the festival grounds. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 5:50:44 AM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
4pm 70°
5pm 67°
6pm 64°
7pm 60°