Police shooting protests return to St. Louis City Hall - KMOV.com

Police shooting protests return to St. Louis City Hall

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By Ruella Rouf By Ruella Rouf

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Protesters pushing for changes in law enforcement policy are taking their demands to St. Louis City Hall on Wednesday, the latest in a series of organized rallies in the wake of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

Demonstrators calling themselves Young Activists United say they will renew their demands to meet with Mayor Francis Slay and press for immediate changes during the evening rally. The group also marched to City Hall on Monday, one of 10 choreographed protests across the region.

The group is asking the mayor to require all city officers to wear body cameras, to create a civilian review board for police, and implement mandatory independent investigations of fatal shootings involving police. Protesters also are asking the city to ends its participation in a federal program that provides surplus military equipment to local police.

Some of those demands are already being considered.

St. Louis recently decided to outfit its police officers with body cameras, at an initial cost of $1.2 million and another $800,000 annually. Slay spokeswoman Maggie Crane said the city will seek voter support for a bond measure to cover those costs.

The city's Board of Aldermen will soon consider a civilian police oversight proposal, though the mayor's critics note that Slay vetoed a similar plan backed by aldermen in 2006. City officials also say St. Louis doesn't get free equipment from the U.S. Defense Department's 1033 program.

The city created an internal Force Investigative Unit in its police department following the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell by St. Louis police 10 days after Brown's killing on Aug. 9. Fatal police encounters -- including the death last week of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. in south St. Louis -- are now also reviewed by the city prosecutor.

The city has also asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to review the case of Powell, whom police have said threatened two officers with a steak knife after stealing two energy drinks and a bag of doughnuts from a convenience store.

Brown, Myers and Powell were black, between the ages of 18 and 25, while the four officers involved are white.



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