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St. Louis County executive calls for review of police department's use of force policies

"St. Louis County already has the #8CantWait policies, but we must make sure that the right training is in place and that the policies are followed," Sam Page said
Credit: UPI
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page comments about the Memorial Day weekend parties at the Lake of the Ozarks Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County’s top official is asking for a review of the police department’s training and use of force practices.

County Executive Sam Page tweeted a letter he sent to the Board of Police Commissioners and Chief Mary Barton following the growing call nationwide to review how police handle interactions.

The #8CANTWAIT campaign has especially gotten a lot of attention online. It calls for police departments to immediately make the following changes:

  1. Ban chokeholds and strangleholds
  2. Require de-escalation
  3. Require warning before shooting
  4. Require exhausting all alternatives before shooting
  5. Duty to intervene
  6. Ban shooting at moving vehicles
  7. Require use of force continuum
  8. Require comprehensive reporting

Page said the St. Louis County Police Department already has all of those policies in place, “but we must make sure that the right training is in place and that the policies are followed,” he tweeted Tuesday.

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The county executive asked the police board to review the department’s use of force policies and training. He also wants the public to be able to weigh in during the review process. Page also asked that the board publicly report what it found, get feedback from the St. Louis County community and make changes where necessary.

5 On Your Side reached out to the Board of Police Commissioners. An official said they plan to respond to Page's request Wednesday.

You can read Page’s full letter to the police board and police chief in the document below.

On Monday, 5 On Your Side confirmed the St. Louis Board of Aldermen will propose changes to the city police department’s use of force policy.

According to the #8CANTWAIT website, the city has four of the eight policies in place. According to the website, the city does not have a ban on chokeholds or strangleholds, de-escalation is not required, there is no duty to intervene and comprehensive reporting is not required.

“These policy changes are long overdue. Recent events have shown that the majority of people in St. Louis and throughout the Country are ready and eager for change,” said Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed.

READ MORE: Changes to St. Louis police ‘use of force’ policy to be proposed this week

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