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Drumbeat For Local Police Control Grows Louder

Brett Blume
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  Emboldened by House passage of local police control legislation this week, dozens of state and city leaders gathered Friday morning to seize the momentum and ramp up their demands.

Missouri State Representative Jamilah Nasheed (D-60) sponsors HB 71, which received first-round approval on a 123-34 vote in the Republican-controlled House.

“We have had a major victory,” she told a crowd of supporters at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on South Compton Friday.  “But the victory is not a victory until we bring local control back home.”

Among those who gathered for the rally was St. Louis mayor Francis Slay, who made this tongue-in-cheek promise if control of the police department is turned back over to City Hall.

“We will not…we WILL NOT…use our department against the Confederacy,” he told the cheering crowd, making reference to the fact that the state has had control of city police since the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.

The House added a provision to the legislation to bar St. Louis police officers from lobbying or testifying before legislative committees about the department’s stance on issues.

Officers would be allowed to testify as individuals but could not wear their
uniforms or state their rank or title within the department.

Supporters of the restrictions said they were concerned about some St. Louis officials’ position on firearm policies.

Despite the House approval of the legislation, Missouri voters ultimately could get the final say.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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