NAACP renews calls for special investigative committee for offic - KMOV.com

NAACP renews calls for special investigative committee for officer-involved shootings

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NAACP members went to City Hall to push for a special investigative committee for officer-involved shootings. (Credit: KMOV) NAACP members went to City Hall to push for a special investigative committee for officer-involved shootings. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Thursday saw another push to create a special investigative unit to handle all police-related shootings in the City of Saint Louis.

The NAACP and the head of the Missouri Missionary Baptist State Convention went before city officials to plead their case at City Hall, presenting their arguments before the Ways and Means Committee.

“We're just at beginning stages,” said Pastor Linden Bowie. “We want to put it before ways & means to come up with a reasonable cost.”

Bowie says it's unclear at this point how much an independent investigative committee would cost, and determining that number is part of what Thursday’s meeting was about.

Demonstrators who took to the streets following the not guilty verdict in the Jason Stockley case championed the cause during protests last summer.

Former officer Stockley was acquitted for the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

One plan would be to have the unit embedded within the Circuit Attorney's Office, but others say it should operate, in effect, outside of the prosecutor's office.

Supporters say it would ease the mistrust in the community

“We want to ask the Ways and Means committee and the chairman to at least agree and hear us and take it up to ask him if they will begin now to look at next year's budget and work with us to find the necessary dollars to make sure that unit comes to fruition next year,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP.

Some critics have said the NAACP should concentrate more on alleviating black on black crime rather than pushing for an independent investigative unit for officer-involved shootings.

Pruitt said crime is the outcome of poverty and you can't have economic vitality if you have persistent unrest in the community.

He said in this case that unrest has been the by-product of officer involved shootings.

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