All but one aldermen on this committee voted for a resolution calling for Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole to testify about accusations of police misconduct at protests. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
"It's a multicultural group of people from all segments of the city," said 1st ward Alderwoman Sharon Tyus.
Tyus was brought to tears while addressing the Board of Aldermen's Public Safety Committee in front of a packed audience Tuesday morning.
She's pushing for St. Louis City Interim Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole to come before the board to discuss claims of officer misconduct during recent protests.
"Who's training them?" said Tyus. "Who's telling them it's alright to be militarized like this?"
Several people took to the podium, claiming officers mistreated them during recent demonstrations.
"Understand that you can be pro-police and not anti-police and still question police," said Tyus. "There was black and white people from all over the city. It was just kind of a rush for me."
The resolution passed almost unanimously, 7th Ward Alderman Joe Vaccaro was the sole vote against the idea, due to what he described as a one-sided hearing.
"What if I held a meeting where I only allowed the police to come and talk?" said Vaccaro "What would happen? What would be the outrage?"
Vacarro told News 4 his attempt to include the interim chief in Tuesday's discussion was denied -- his claim, drawing disagreement.
"During the meeting, I texted the chief, and I asked him if he could get down here," said Vaccaro. "I asked Terry (BOA Public Safety Board Chair Terry Kennedy) and said the chief would come down right now and the chair said that's not what this is about."
Both Tyus and Kennedy dismiss Vaccaro's claim, calling today's meeting an opportunity for the public to speak in a comfortable setting before it's decided whether or not Interim Chief O'Toole will be brought in.
The resolution now moves forward to the full of Board of Aldermen.
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