police

Police Shooting
3:44 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Businesses In Berkeley Hold Their Breath, Hopeful Neighborhood Will Stay Peaceful

Dennis Yi-Adams is a tattoo artist at Urban Expressions, located near the shooting site. He said business has dropped off considerably in recent months.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

In the parking lot of a small strip mall across the street from the Mobil station in Berkeley where the police shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin took place this morning, television crews from national networks were setting up and a few protesters milled around this morning.

“It’s Christmas, we’ll pray for peace,” said Tom Kiely, who owns the strip mall.   

For now, Kiely said he doesn’t plan on boarding up storefronts -- like many of the businesses in nearby Ferguson have done. But that could change.

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Beyond Ferguson
10:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

President Names Packnett -- Local Activist And Educator -- To Task Force On Policing

Brittany Packnett
Credit File photo

Brittany Packnett says she’s made a career of “listening intently and intensively” to the needs of young people.  The former third-grade teacher, current Ferguson activist and executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis will now put her listening and leadership skills to use as a member of President Barack Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing.

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Politics & Issues
11:53 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Senate Grapples With Racial Disparities In Justice System

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Credit File photo

This week, the Senate gave final approval to legislation that requires police departments to report the deaths of individuals in police custody. The bill’s passage on Wednesday came one day after witnesses before a subcommittee on human rights also expressed their support for the measure; their testimony illustrated why the legislation is needed. The bill, which passed the House last year at this time, now goes to the president for his signature.     

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Keeping track of law enforcement
11:12 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

How Many Police Kill Black Men? Without Database, We Can't Know

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown is just one example of many police shootings in the United States. Exactly how many shootings there are every year is unknown.
Credit Undated video grab

One of the most important reforms that could grow out of the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, experts say, would be the creation of a national database containing detailed information about all police shootings, whether or not suspects are wounded or killed.

On this much experts agree. But beneath that agreement, the debate about police use of force is fraught with sharp disagreements about how important a factor race plays.

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Proving Civil Rights Violations
10:50 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Police Use Of Force: How Did We Get Here And Where Can We Go?

The laws governing how much force police are allowed to use has had a long, circuitous history.
Credit Flickr | Quinn Dombrowski

Second of two parts.

Even though a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the case against Wilson is not entirely closed. The U.S. Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation into the Aug. 9 incident.

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Police Use of Force
9:13 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Why It's So Hard To Hold Police Accountable For Excessive Force

The grand jury decisions not to indict police involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York sparked nights of protests. Here, protesters gathered on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.
Credit Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

First of two parts.

Two grand juries in two very different cases have refused to indict white police officers for the deaths of two black men. As a result, many people are wondering if it's possible to hold police officers accountable for use of deadly force.

State and federal laws could be reformed to make it easier to punish police officers who misuse deadly force, but legal experts say those changes would face political hurdles and an unfriendly U.S. Supreme Court. 

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Implicit Bias
12:35 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Despite State Law, Police Departments In Missouri Still Struggle With Bias In Policing

Rich Anderson (left) with one of his Speed Factory Athletics runners at a 2013 competition
Credit via Facebook/Speed Factory Athletics

Since 2000, police departments in the state of Missouri have been required by law to report information about their traffic stops – including the race of the person pulled over. 

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Ferguson
7:59 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

President Obama Speaks On Ferguson, Police Training

Credit (WhiteHouse.gov video screen capture)

President Barack Obama says he has asked Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to create a plan for a “careful and appropriate response to any potential violence” that may occur after the grand jury decision in the Darren Wilson case is made public.

Speaking Sunday on ABC’s This Week, the president said he doesn’t want a repeat of this past August.

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On The Trail
6:07 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Study To Examine How St. Louis Region Should Police Itself

Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, is leading a study for Better Together about how the region's policing agencies should be structured.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

When Better Together formed last year, it was already planning to examine how the region polices itself — especially because St. Louis County has so many different departments that patrol towns and cities.

But the review became more than just a theoretical exercise after the shooting death of Michael Brown. The roughly 60 police departments throughout St. Louis County underwent intense scrutiny for aggressive ticketing, little racial diversity and the targeting of African Americans. There have been widespread calls for substantial changes.

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Small municipalities
10:28 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Some Bel-Ridge Trustees Say Village Police Problems Have Been Ignored

Police cars park outside of the Bel-Ridge Municipal Complex, which includes spaces for Village Hall, its municipal court and the police department.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

A 2012 audit of the police department in Bel-Ridge is getting new attention from some members of the community's Board of Trustees.

Longtime resident and trustee Rachel White has been pushing for change since she found the audit this year in a stack of papers. It showed mismanagement and possible misconduct of officers. But the entity with the power to address it — the Village Board of Trustees —  had failed to make major changes.

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