Criminal Justice

Missouri police recruits must soon take course on history of policing minority communities

BY: - December 16, 2020

New recruits in Missouri’s law-enforcement academies will soon be required to take a two-hour course on the history of policing in minority communities.  The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission — which sets the minimum standards for the basic training in Missouri — unanimously approved the measure on Tuesday. A POST subcommittee spent the last […]

Why did Fayette police raid a Black student’s house twice late at night?

BY: - December 15, 2020

It was 8:30 p.m. on Halloween night, and Christopher Turner Jr. and his girlfriend had just gotten home from a Central Methodist University football game in Kansas.  Turner, 24, plays right defensive tackle for the team, and both are seniors at the small private college in Fayette, about 30 miles northwest of Columbia. The team […]

Missouri bills seek to shield drivers who hit protesters

BY: and - December 10, 2020

Reacting to a summer marked by protests against police violence around the country, a pair of Missouri lawmakers are pushing for legislation shielding drivers from liability if they hit protesters with their cars. State Sen.-elect Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, is sponsoring a bill that would bar lawsuits against drivers for injuries to a person who “was […]

Medical marijuana subpoena may have been connected to Independence FBI probe

BY: - December 7, 2020

The head of Missouri’s medical marijuana program testified under oath that a grand jury subpoena his agency received late last year was likely connected to an FBI investigation in Independence.  The revelation by Lyndall Fraker, director of medical marijuana regulation at the Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services, is the first indication of the […]

Howard County Jail closed as COVID outbreak hits sheriff, inmates

BY: and - December 3, 2020

An entire jail in central Missouri is empty today due to a COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department closed Saturday and sent the 15 detainees to Cooper County. Sheriff Mike Neal, at least one deputy and most of the jail staff are infected with the coronavirus. The department posted a […]

Missouri lawmakers file bills to improve access to HIV treatment, reduce stigma

BY: - December 1, 2020

The first step for a person to receive care for HIV is knowing whether they have it. But under a Missouri law passed in the late 1980s, it also means people living with HIV could face prosecution if they expose someone to it. A bipartisan trio of Missouri lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to […]

Five years after Ferguson report, some say progress has come too slow

BY: - November 24, 2020

Like so many around the country, Dr. L.J. Punch was glued to the television on the night of Nov. 24, 2014. That night, the country learned that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. Punch was a critical-care surgeon working in Houston […]

To prevent abuse at religious schools, Missouri lawmakers recommend new regulations

BY: - November 19, 2020

In order to improve safety and understand the scope of unlicensed youth residential facilities throughout Missouri, lawmakers are recommending every facility be registered, background checks be required and that three substantiated reports of abuse and neglect result in children being removed. Registration with the state would include a requirement that facilities conduct background checks on […]

Q&A with Cori Bush, Missouri’s first black Congresswoman

BY: - November 12, 2020

Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush has told the same story ever since her first campaign in 2016. At one point in her life, she was a working nurse and single mother living out of her car with her children — never imagining she’d ever find herself in that situation.  “I was that person running for my life […]

Police chokeholds, no-knock warrants spark debate in Missouri House committee

BY: - November 11, 2020

As state lawmakers mull the idea of restricting police use of chokeholds or no-knock warrants, they are facing pushback from law enforcement organizations who contend decisions should be made at the local level. The House Special Committee on Criminal Justice met for three hours on Monday to explore the possibility of passing legislation restricting these […]

Rep. Sheila Solon

Kids reported abuse at schools where Missouri has no oversight. Lawmakers want to change that

BY: - November 10, 2020

Despite dozens of students coming forward sharing allegations of abuse they suffered at Christian reform schools across Missouri, the state Department of Social Services said Monday that they have no oversight over such facilities. That’s because they’re unlicensed — and allowed to be under a Missouri law that exempts facilities operated by religious organizations. And […]

Crime vs. COVID: Parson, Galloway make closing arguments in Missouri governor’s race

BY: - October 30, 2020

In their final push to election day, Republican Gov. Mike Parson and his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, aim to turn out base voters and win over undecided Missourians by linking their opponent to unpopular policies of others. For Parson, that means an emphasis on supporting law enforcement over protesters demanding police reforms and […]