Police Dept. Teaches Citizens How to Flex Their Rights
Police Chief Ken Burton in Columbia, MO took a lot of heat over that brutal SWAT raid in which two dogs were shot in front of a small child. Then, he surprised and impressed all of us by expressing his support for marijuana legalization in order to prevent such outrages in the future. Here's some more evidence that Chief Burton truly cares about protecting the public from police abuse:
In the wake of reports showing disproportionate traffic stops of black motorists in Missouri urban areas, Columbia police statistics were released showing more balance here. The proportion of black detainees is lower than in 2007, the peak year.
Columbia police find no reason to change their procedures, which they believe with good reason are not producing improper actions against racial minorities, but they have taken a good pre-emptive step by creating a video intended to inform citizens of their rights when confronted with police during a traffic stop or other questioning incidents.
Titled "Ten Rules for Dealing with the Police," the video recently was shown by Chief Ken Burton to gatherings of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare and the Columbia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. [Columbia Tribune]
Of course, the video was actually created by Flex Your Rights, not the Columbia Police Department. But it's fantastic to see law enforcement embracing our materials. Hopefully the positive press their efforts have generated will inspire other police departments to do the same.