police

Program works to rebuild trust between cops and kids

Feb 16, 2015
Students who participate in an after -school program at Hanrahan elementary speak with a St. Louis County Police officer.
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Sixth grader Jmarria Franklin of Kenneth C. Hanrahan Elementary School in Jennings says she didn’t have a good opinion about police after Michael Brown’s death.

“I thought they were kind of bad because when the Michael Brown situation had happened everybody started hating police and stuff because he got shot for no reason,” she said.

St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s two members of the Congressional Black Caucus both say President Barack Obama encouraged members of the caucus to find Republican colleagues to help pass criminal justice system reforms sought by many in the group. 

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal
Missouri Senate

Body cameras could be required for all Missouri law enforcement officers under a newly proposed Senate bill.

Pro-police rally organizer Trish Dennison holds the bullhorn for the pledge of allegiance on Saturday, January 24, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St.Louis Public Radio

Several dozen people showed their support for police Saturday afternoon in Clayton with a rally in front of St. Louis County Police headquarters. Many dressed in blue and white. Some carried signs that read “We support our LEOs” and “Police Lives Matter.” Others waved American flags.

At a table in front of the memorial for slain officers, Bill Peiper and Teresa Tate sold T-shirts with their 6-year-old son, Colton Tate. 

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.

Brittany Packnett
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.

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.     

Darren Wilson
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.

The laws governing how much force police are allowed to use has had a long, circuitous history.
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.

Protesters gather on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
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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