Missouri Board of Police Condemns Chief Burton's Firing of Officer Rob Sanders
COLUMBIA - The Executive Board for the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) unanimously voted to condemn the actions of Columbia Police Chief Kenneth Burton for the wrongful termination of Officer Rob Sanders. The FOP says it is hopeful that Burton will be "relieved of his duties" as chief.
The FOP Executive Board found that all charges were "unfounded" and recommended that "no action" be taken. The recommendations were written up in a 39-page report. Despite reading the report, FOP says Chief Burton wrongfully terminated Sanders.
Chief Burton fired Officer Rob Sanders on Sept. 21, 2011 for use of excessive force after video showed Sanders in a holding cell, forcing a suspect to the ground. The incident occurred August 15. Sanders was then placed on administrative leave on August 24. Sanders had served the Columbia Police Department for 18 years.
Internal affairs cleared Sanders of the incident after an investigation. According to the report following the investigation, there was not enough evidence to show Sanders used excessive force or violated police policy. However, Burton said Sanders did not act within policy and fired him despite the findings of the investigation.
FOP president Kevin Ahlbrand said in a statement, "To a man we found Chief Burton's actions to be reprehensible and for this reason we took the unusual step of formally condemning Chief Burton's actions."
The board had never before held a condemnation vote.
Photo Credit: Gocolumbiamo.com