St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

St. Louis aldermen used a meeting of the city's Public Safety Committee on Tuesday to blast the crime-fighting policies of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson.

"It is important that we make a distinction between criticism of the chief and the leadership and criticism of the officers on the streets," said Alderman Antonio French, D-21st Ward, and the vice chairman of the public safety committee. "Officers on the streets are just as frustrated. They can't say it publicly, but we hear it as aldermen."

COB members line up to get their picture taken after their first meeting. In addition to fine-tuning policy, the Civilian Oversight Board had to get city ID badges on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The seven St. Louis residents charged with reviewing complaints against St. Louis city police weighed issues of access and neutrality Wednesday during the first official meeting of the Civilian Oversight Board.

While reviewing a draft of board policy, Lawrence Johnson took issue with a provision that would make the executive director the sole point of communication with police.

Nicolle Barton became the executive director of the Civilian Oversight Board on Feb. 8, 2016.
Nathan Rubbelke | St. Louis Public Radio

Though members of her family were in law enforcement, Nicolle Barton entered college to be a nurse.

"But I decided to take a criminal justice class, and I fell in love with the aspect of the system, and how it works, and what we could do to change things, improve things, and help people along the process," said Barton, a native of southern Illinois.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay discuss the 2015 crime numbers on Monday, Jan 11, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Crime in the city of St. Louis went up from 2014 to 2015, driven by a nearly 8 percent spike in crimes against persons.

"One hundred and eighty-eight people lost their lives to senseless and destructive violence the city of St. Louis in the past year," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "Overall crime was up 2 percent over the previous year. None of these deaths were warranted, and neither of those numbers are acceptable."

Officer Phil Green, an instructor in the St. Louis Police Academy and chief Sam Dotson present to the subcommittee on police use of force on Nov. 19, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly six months after he first asked for the authority to do so, Alderman Antonio French has started his review of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s use-of-force policies.

French's subcommittee on police use of force held its first meeting Thursday. He had originally hoped for a special committee that would study officer-involved shootings, but the legislation authorizing that committee never passed. A subcommittee can be created without a vote of the Board of Aldermen.

Footage of cell phone video of the Aug. 20, 2014, death of Kajieme Powell
Video provided by St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Updated at 5 p.m. Tuesday with comments from prosecutors. Two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers will not face criminal charges in the death of a 25-year-old man who was killed less than two weeks after the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Kajieme Powell was shot and killed outside a convenience store in the city’s North Point neighborhood on Aug. 19, 2014, after he advanced with a knife on officers who had responded to a disturbance call. 

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

St. Louis police confirmed the city's 160th homicide earlier this week, a number that surpasses last year's murder total. 

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson briefs reporters on his department's plans for the 2015 Major League Baseball playoffs on October 8, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police will have extra personnel in downtown this weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals begin postseason play — a little earlier than usual.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said stolen guns are part of what's causing an uptick in crime in the city.
Courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

As of August, homicides in St. Louis are up 60 percent compared with last year, according to recently released statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A report by the U.S. Department of Justice examines a chaotic and often uncoordinated response to the protests that erupted after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014.

The Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services on Wednesday released its after-action report on the police response to the 17 days between when Brown was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and his funeral.

St. Louis police chief Dotson speaks beside clergy and Mayor Francis Slay Thursday in Fountain Park, calling for calm after a night of unrest.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Friday with preliminary autopsy report:

St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson defended Thursday the tactics city police used the previous night during unrest that broke out in north St. Louis after the fatal police shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey. Later that night St. Louis police officers held back as a group marched to the intersection of Euclid and Maryland avenues and blocked traffic there for almost an hour.

On Friday morning, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released a statement saying that the city's medical examiner's preliminary autopsy "indicates Ball-Bey sustained a single gunshot wound to his back."

The grandmother of Kajieme Powell holds a sign on the steps of the Carnahan Courthouse as a speaker shouts in a bullhorn Wed. Aug. 19, 2015. Powell died one year ago Wed.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

On the first anniversary of the death of Kajieme Powell, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said her office is still investigating whether charges should be filed against the two St. Louis police officers who shot and killed Powell as he allegedly approached them with a knife.

The 2006 World's Series was a winner for the Cardinals.
Matt Dimmic | Flickr

A long-running legal fight over who can see the documents generated during an internal police investigation is over.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case of 35 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers who wanted to block the release of information from an investigation into the misuse of tickets to the 2006 World Series. That decision lets stand a lower court ruling that said the officers in question had no expectation of privacy around the documents. It was not immediately clear when the documents would be made public.

Mayor Francis Slay, at podium, introduces his nominees for the cvilian oversight board. They are, from left, DeBorah Ahmed, Ciera Simril, Heather Highland, Jane Abbott-Morris, Bradley Arteaga, Steve Rovak and Lawrence Johnson.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says his nominations for the city's first Civilian Oversight Board will help reduce crime by improving the relationships police have with the community. He introduced his nominees Thursday in his office by saying they reflect the diversity of the city and have the best interest of St. Louis and the police department in mind.

“The most important priority in our city now, is to reduce crime. I believe that civilian involvement in our police department is a key component of our comprehensive approach to reducing crime,” Slay said. 

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Anti-Defamation League’s anti-bias program Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust will mark its 10th anniversary by honoring the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, its first law enforcement partner to engage with the program.

William Woods, the special agent in charge of the St. Louis office of the FBI, announces the Mission SAVE task force with chief Sam Dotson (L) and Mayor Francis Slay (R) Flanked by St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson.
UPI | Bill Greenblatt

One hundred five people have been killed in St. Louis so far this year, putting the city on pace for nearly 200 homicides in 2015. Many more than that have been shot or put in danger of being shot.

Now, city officials are looking to a new local-federal task force to slow the pace of violence in the city.

August 2014 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated with arrests - St. Louis police have arrested three individuals in connection with the shooting Tuesday morning of an off-duty officer in the Central West End.

Police chief Sam Dotson says officers had to use a Taser on one individual who was arrested in Maplewood. A fourth man remains at large, but Dotson says the department knows who they are looking for.

Sam Dotson and officers listen to James Clark before a hotspot patrol in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Crime in the city of St. Louis continues to be higher in 2015 compared to the numbers from last year.

Statistics released Tuesday by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police show crime was up nearly 14 percent overall in the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, though the rate of increase has slowed each month. Every category of crime except rape and arson was up by double digits.

Jamala Rogers (bottom left) and John Chasnoff (bottom right) after the civilian oversight board they have championed for 30 years received initial approval on April 15, 2015
Katelyn Petrin/St. Louis Public Radio

The process of getting the new St. Louis police civilian oversight board up and running has taken another small step forward.

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, D-21st Ward, listens in at a recent hearing of the Board of Aldermen's Legislative Committee.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

An effort by St. Louis alderman Antonio French to add an additional set of eyes to police policy is running into some headwinds.

French introduced a resolution on May 21 that would create a special committee to look at officer-involved shootings between January 2014 and the end of this year and recommend changes to policy or city law. The board's rules committee held its second hearing on the measure Wednesday without taking a vote. A third hearing of that standing committee is scheduled for next week.

Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia police commissioner and leader of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers, their families and supporters gathered in downtown St. Louis Friday morning to remember colleagues who have been killed in the line of duty.

One hundred sixty four officers from the department have been killed since 1863. The last name to be added to the list was in 2011, when Darryl Hall was killed while responding to a fight at a nightclub while he was off-duty.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers raise their weapons at a preshift meeting 3.23.15
Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Funding to put additional police on the St. Louis streets likely won't go to voters until November.

The city's public safety committee took more than three hours of testimony Wednesday on the measures that set up the funding mechanisms for the new officers. But in the end, lawmakers took no action, which likely scuttles the hope of Mayor Francis Slay to ask voters for their approval in August.

Chief Sam Dotson stl police 1.27.15
Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio intern

St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson plans to develop a new website that would rank judges by how often they give probation to people facing certain lower-level felony gun charges.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed signs legislation creating a civilian oversight board for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

More than 30 years of work by city aldermen and activists paid off Monday, as the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a civilian oversight board for the city's police department.

Applause broke out in the chambers as President Lewis Reed announced the 17-8 vote. Two members voted present, and one alderman did not vote at all.

Mayor Francis Slay, left, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson unveil the new Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police will get a new tool this summer to help battle crime. Media got a preview Thursday of the Real Time Crime Center, on the sixth floor of police headquarters at 1915 Olive.

Jamala Rogers (bottom left) and John Chasnoff (bottom right) after the civilian oversight board they have championed for 30 years received initial approval on April 15, 2015
Katelyn Petrin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would bring more civilian oversight to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is a step closer to Mayor Francis Slay's desk.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave the measure creating the civilian oversight board initial approval Wednesday on a voice vote. No exact roll call was taken, though some aldermen did object.

Tony Rothert and Mary Bruntrager on February 25, 2015 after oral arguments on the World Series ticket case
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with response from Jennifer Joyce.

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ordered the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to release some of the internal documents of an investigation into the misuse of 2006 World Series tickets.

Children use a Little Free Library in North St. Louis.
Gina Sheridan

In celebration of D.E.A.R., “Drop Everything And Read,” day on April 12, we are taking a closer look at the importance of reading and getting books into the hands of children.  

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin that posts small mailbox-like structures in neighborhoods and fills them with free books. They’ve inspired a movement that has spread to cities throughout the country, including St. Louis.

Between 80 and 100 people rallied in support of law enforcement Saturday, March 28, 2015 outside the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Almost 100 people gathered outside the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Saturday for a rally in support of law enforcement.

Those in attendance said police officers had been “handcuffed” from doing their job in recent months and are required to give Ferguson-related protesters too much leeway.

Clouds of tear gas engulf W. Florissant Ave on Aug. 17, 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 4:12 p.m. with comments from attorneys.)

The three agencies that made up the "unified command" during protests in Ferguson over the summer will have to provide warning before using tear gas or other chemical agents to disperse peaceful crowds.

Pages