Tag Archives: City of Columbia

Columbia Police Draw Gun and Taunt Black Teens

The audio starts after a bit in both videos.

From the CFJ video

On March 7, 2015 Cezan “CJ” Stock and a group of friends were hanging
out in their neighborhood in Columbia, MO when they noticed a Columbia
Police Department patrol cruiser approach.

Sergeant Roger Schlude and Street Crimes Officers Chris Papineau were
in the area on a “Check Subject” when they parked and began observing
the teenagers. Upon spotting the officers, CJ and several other
teenagers began using their camera phones to record the officers.

Schlude responded by exiting his vehicle and pointing his service
weapon at CJ, while demanding he take his hand out of his pocket. The
teen complied but the weapon remained aimed at CJ while the two
debated the officer’s actions. Schlude repeatedly tells the teen to
“Walk on!”

CJ’s mother, Andrea Brookins, says her son is known for filming his
encounters with law enforcement to hold the police accountable for
their actions. She believes this has garnered ill-will with members of
CPD and leading to situation such as this. “These officers were trying
to intimidate my son from filming the police,” she said in an
interview with CFJ.

As the situation unfolded Officer Papineau engaged in a verbal
argument with CJ, threatening to “mop the floor” with the teen and
making fun of his weight, as well as that of a fellow teenager on the
scene.

Schlude claims that CJ had been arrested for concealing a firearm on a
previous occasion, leading him to fear CJ. Reports indicate the
firearm was located in the glove box of his mother’s vehicle, which CJ
was driving her vehicle at the time.

Andrea says the firearm belonged to her, stating she has a Second
Amendment Right to bear arms. “I have a right to defend myself and
they used that to arrest my son in retaliation for his filming the
police,” Brookins said. This gun case against CJ was later dismissed
by prosecutors.

Missouri Law specifically states that an individual has a right to
keep a firearm concealed in their vehicle, whether or no they have a
Conceal and Carry Permit: http://bit.ly/2b1EmIb

Brookins filed complaints against the officers for their actions.

Her complaint against Officer Papinuea for Discourteous,
Disrespectful, or Discriminatory Treatment of Any Member of the
Public, and Guidelines for Corrective Action were sustained. He
received a Written Warning.

Her complaint against Schlude for Excessive Force (Response to
Resistance) was marked as Exonerated and cleared of any wrong-doing.

Several months later, officers attempted to pull CJ over while he was
on lunch from his job. Based on this situation, CJ drove to his
mother’s house where he peacefully surrendered as Brookins filmed. “I
wanted to ensure his safety. He was scared and I could understand
why,” Brookins said.

As she filmed, Sergeant Schlude charged and shoved Brookins. Her video
of this situation can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2bk84Ls

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Who Will John Clark Attack Next?

John Clark

John G. Clark

A few weeks ago after the “Trash Talk” First Ward Check-In, candidate for the First Ward Council seat vacated by Ginny Chadwick John G. Clark aggressively cornered City Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe, berating her so ferociously that the encounter left her frightened, shaken, and in tears. Witnesses and coworkers described Clark’s actions as “a verbal assault” and “threatening.”

Having spent some time around Mr. Clark and having been cornered by the man on more than one occasion, the story does not surprise me. Clark is a large and loud man who stands well over six feet tall. Next to Barbara Buffaloe, he looks like a giant.

John Clark -- left

John Clark — left

Those who know Buffaloe say she is a hard-working city employee who cares about her job. On the night of her run-in with Clark she was simply trying to do that job. Coworkers describe her as “sweet” and “kind.” One of her peers said this:

 

“Barb has kind of an impeccable personality – she is sweet and innocent, and I think it’s real and to the core.”

Barbara Buffaloe

Barbara Buffaloe

Although Buffaloe declined to comment on the situation, coworkers and witnesses say that Clark’s admonishment was frighteningly relentless. He told her that she was doing a terrible job as Sustainability Manager, but his scolding crossed the line of decency. She was in tears not only because she was offended, she was frightened by the ferocity with which Clark cornered her.

This type of behavior seems to be a pattern for Clark. In 2006 Columbia Police issued Clark a trespass warning after he showed up at Councilwoman Almeta Crayton’s home late at night and threatened her into changing her vote on a controversial First Ward development project. The encounter was traumatic enough that it left the tough councilwoman in tears, tears that re-emerged as she recounted the story at a Council meeting the following day.

Almeta Crayton

Almeta Crayton

“As a council person, you try to do the best you can,” Crayton said through tears, “but when there are people that threaten us, it’s a little hard.”

John G. Clark - right

John G. Clark – right

Clark also has a rather murky past with the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association. In 2011, only seven months after being elected as President of the board, Clark was recalled by the group who cited a laundry list of grievances, chief among them that Clark had…

publicly chastised association members and presented unapproved positions to the media.

Strangely enough, Clark cites his work in the NCCNA as a reason to vote for him. It seems clear now that his relationship with NCCNA is a reason to NOT vote for him.

While the bureaucrats at the top of the City food chain, i.e. Matthes, St.Romaine, Glascock, and company deserve to be held accountable for their mismanagement, our hard-working city employees do not deserve to be treated like John Clark treated Barbara Buffaloe. Ginny Chadwick reportedly treated city staff as if they were her servants and Ian Thomas treats staff as if they are serfs serving on his royal estate.

Placing John Clark in a seat of power tasked with representing the First Ward and our City is a clear mistake.

Listen to John Clark’s interview on the Gary Nolan Show —- HERE

If you don’t know Barbara Buffaloe, this video will give you a hint at her demeanor…

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Keep Columbia Free Joins Coalition to Recall Chadwick — Richards Will Not Run

Ginny Chadwick

Ginny Chadwick

Two local groups, CoMo Council Watch and Keep Columbia Free, have joined forces with local cannabis law reformers to recall Councilperson Ginny Chadwick. More groups are likely to join the effort soon.

Columbia advocates for cannabis legalization, Aaron Malin, Eapen Thampy, and Duell Lauderdale, started the recall effort in response to Chadwick’s reversal of her public campaign promise to support Councilperson Barbara Hoppe’s proposed cannabis cultivation ordinance. Her vote was the last in a long string of outright betrayals since being sworn into office only six months ago. It was the straw, or perhaps the leaf, that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Even Councilperson Barb Hoppe was confounded by Chadwick’s dishonesty.

“I think we felt misled… It’s hard to tell what she really thinks. She’ll say she’s for something and then vote against it.” — Councilperson Barb Hoppe on Chadwick’s cannabis vote

Aaron Malin

Aaron Malin

The recall announcement made by the pro-cannabis crowd was simply the first. A newly formed organization of First Ward voters calling themselves CoMo Council Watch had their own recall petition in the works which listed many of the same grievances, chief among them being Chadwick’s less-than-transparent slight of hand in her dealings with the Opus student housing project.

Barbara Hoppe

Barbara Hoppe

 

I was at the coalition meeting along with several of the Keep Columbia Free faithful. This writer has chronicled Councilwoman Chadwick’s flagrant misdeeds for several months and all in the room were in agreement that she had amassed a laundry list of recall-worthy actions. Besides her 180 on her cannabis reform campaign promise and her good ol’ boy relationship with Opus, Chadwick has also proposed an overtly racist plan to ban alcohol in Douglass Park and is now pushing to change the legal age for tobacco purchase to 21 and include e-cigs in Columbia’s smoking ban. And she doesn’t give a damn what anyone has to say about it, going so far as to scrub constituent comments from her official Facebook page, even blocking some users. 

Eapen Thampy

Eapen Thampy

The folks from the Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) have expressed great dismay over Chadwick targeting e-cigs and will hopefully officially endorse the recall effort soon.

There is little doubt that Chadwick has sided with the establishment “powers that be” in Columbia. Even the great establishment propagandist, Tribune Publisher Hank Waters, has jumped to her aid with his barrels of ink and an overtly erroneous editorial in which he attempts to pigeonhole the recall effort as a “small group of disappointed supporters of looser marijuana restrictions.” Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Even his own newspaper reported the facts. Apparently, Ol’ Hank doesn’t read his own publication.

The editorial prompted this apropos response from local liberty activist Spencer Pearson…

HA! This Op-Ed from Hank Waters about the ‪#‎RecallChadwick‬ movement is outrageously false. It must be nice to own a newspaper and tell voters in other wards what to do without any real knowledge of the movement you’re writing about.

The “small group” of people who are members of the Recall First Ward Councilperson Ginny Chadwick page already outnumber Chadwick’s public like page! And the grievances First Ward voters have go far beyond her broken campaign promise to support decriminalizing cannabis cultivation.

Waters concludes the piece with a Confucius quote: “The real fault is to have faults and not try to mend them.” When Chadwick publicly stated she didn’t have to make a case to a group of angry constituents, THAT was the deciding point of the recall. She has flat-out refused to address the people who elected her, as is her job. Perhaps Mr. Waters should show this Confucius quote to Ginny Chadwick instead of patronizing First Ward voters by telling so many of them their efforts are “without merit and should be ignored.” Or perhaps he is just projecting

But who will replace Chadwick?

mitch

Mitch Richards

There are a few names being tossed around, but those discussions have been kept secret so far. The First Ward wants to make sure that they don’t get fooled again, hoodwinked by more snake oil, ending up worse off than before. There is little doubt that the determined First Ward voters will produce a fully-vetted and qualified candidate. Enough is enough. After a decade of poor representation from the likes of Paul Sturtz, Fred Schmidt, and now Ginny Chadwick, the ward is ripe for real reform and meaningful action. But who will it be?

One name that has been mentioned is former First Ward candidate Mitch Richards who lost to Fred Schmidt in 2011. I asked Richards if he might run to replace Chadwick should the recall effort prove successful.

“Absolutely not! I have no intention to run for Council at this time nor in the near future.

That said, I do support the recall effort. Councilperson Chadwick has advocated an overtly paternalist set of policies since taking office. She arrogantly singled out Columbia’s African-American community as being unfit to consume alcohol in Douglass Park only to change course and try to ban alcohol everywhere in hopes of countering the justifiable cries of racial insensitivity the initial proposal faced. She wants to include e-cigs in Columbia’s smoking ban despite the fact that these devices provide a somewhat safer alternative than smoking for tobacco users and now she wants to tell young adults that while they can vote, pay taxes, and serve in war, they cannot be trusted to buy tobacco products. Her secretive work on the Opus project ran counter to the wishes of her constituency and now she’s made a 180 degree turn on the marijuana cultivation ordinance — an ordinance to which she pledged support during her campaign. Campaign promises should be sacred. The First Ward needs to send a strong message to current and future leadership that these types of fundamental betrayals will not be tolerated.”

These strong words from Richards echo the popular sentiment across the First Ward. There is little doubt that this recall effort will produce plenty of signatures in a very short time.

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Ginny Chadwick’s Sexism Card

Ginny Chadwick’s Sexism Card
by Melissa C. Sharp

chadwick sexism

Sexism happens.

As a woman, I can give first-hand examples of sexism from my own life. Female politicians and celebrities are scrutinized in ways which males are not. However, because women are sometimes unfairly targeted and derided in public spheres it is all the more important to use caution before whipping out the “sexism” card. There must be an element of either stereotyping, discrimination or prejudice directed at a person because of her sex for the remarks to qualify as sexism. Otherwise, it’s just criticism.

This is why, as a politically-active woman, I approach the recent statement from Councilperson Ginny Chadwick with chagrin. First of all, it should be noted from her quotation, she pulls out the sexism card, but fails to give any specifics about the incident(s) she is referring too. It makes me wonder if she just wants to play on people’s emotions. And while it’s admirable to encourage women as leaders, I feel like her comments are designed capture support for her instead of for the idea of female leadership.

There is no room in public office for vague accusations, particularly not if those accusations are plied to garner support for leadership or policies that are deeply unpopular. Making false accusations is serious and depending on the allegations, can be criminal. This is the reason why public officials are sworn into office promising honesty in the performance of their duties.

Anyone remember Ashley Todd? She was the GOP volunteer for presidential candidate John McCain, who falsely claimed she was robbed and assaulted by a Barack Obama supporter. She was charged with filing a false police report and sentenced to probation when her claims were revealed as hoaxes. But the real damage inflicted by Todd’s claims have nothing to do with how she was personally punished (although, I’m sure she still has to live with the social repercussions to this day). The lasting damage from her false accusations is how it gave ammunition to those who wished to minimize the very real and common dangers women face from assault. It also tarnished the Republican party’s reputation when a tight presidential election was only a month away.

If Chadwick is making a false statement about sexism she’s encountered while in office, then she is employing the use of a “red herring.” This claim is designed to take attention away from some very important questions about politics in Columbia. Especially, the kind of policies Chadwick is promoting.

Why is Chadwick trying to gather support for a local ordinance to ban smoking by 18-21 year-olds when it’s unlikely to reduce young adults’ access to cigarettes?

Furthermore, why will the University of Missouri be exempt from it?

After all, isn’t the University the reason why Columbia has such a large 18-21 year old population?

What’s the point of this piecemeal ordinance, especially since smoking is already banned inside businesses?

Chadwick was elected in April of this year. Since then, as First Ward’s councilperson, she has come out in favor of the controversial downtown development by the Opus Group, a ban on alcohol in Douglas Park, and a ban on cigarette sales to anyone under the age of 21. So in other words, an ordinance which favors more ill-conceived development at the expense of local taxpayers and two different bans which would violate adult citizens’ rights to freedom of choice.

If Chadwick wants to represent the interests of the First Ward, perhaps she should study the playbook of Democratic Senator Maria Chapelle-Nadal. When protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, Nadal joined with her protesting constituents. The senator is fiery and controversial, but there is no question she is working to represent the values of the people who live in her district.
The truth is, there’s no need to attack Councilperson Ginny Chadwick because she is a woman. Her record speaks for itself.

Melissa C. Sharp serves as the Keep Columbia Free Director of Community Outreach and is a longtime, active member of the organization.

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Chadwick’s Douglass Park Prohibition

Yesterday I posted and then deleted a story regarding First Ward Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick’s proposed Douglass Park alcohol ban. It included 20-some photos of Councilwoman Chadwick consuming alcohol around town and across the country along with a couple of screen shots of posts from her page extolling the virtues of alcohol. The intent was to expose the hypocrisy of Columbia’s white councilwoman who often drinks quite publicly and who is working to ban public alcohol consumption in Columbia’s central city park, a park long frequented by Black citizens who live in the area. Sadly some readers missed the point.

After posting the article, it just felt wrong. It was too dirty. It was a low blow to pull several photos from the councilwoman’s Facebook page and post them for all to see, regardless of how disgusting her move to ban alcohol in Douglass might have been. There were many innocent bystanders in the photos. I thought better of it and pulled the post down.

Politics is a dirty business, to be sure, and dirty often wins, but I just don’t want to go to that place any more. Believe me, I’ve been there before. It ain’t pretty.

With that said, I’m still not above having a little fun to make a point, so I’ll include a quick meme…

293105_10150358406763033_406964_n copySo we’ve established that Councilwoman Chadwick has mastered the art of consuming alcohol in public. This is not meant to shame her for choosing to do with her body as she wishes — i.e. consume alcohol — lots of it — publicly. It is meant to shame her for the hypocrisy of drinking in public while working to limit the ability of others, namely the Black citizens who frequent Douglass Park, to do the same.

Councilman Fred Schmidt, Chadwick’s friend and predecessor once spoke of his desire to ban alcohol in Douglass Park, but quickly forgot the proposal after a significant public outcry led by Keep Columbia Free.

Since Chadwick has renewed the effort, many have pointed out the drunken public mayhem that ensues on any given Saturday during college football season. Drunken college kids and sloshed middle-aged tailgaters stumble through the streets between Downtown and Faurot Field, most of them white and most of them affluent. The post-game apocalypse leaves the ground covered with beer can fallout and barf. This, of course, is how we roll in the SEC. It’s a sacred tradition. Who cares if the University Hospital trauma center is overrun with alcohol poisoned young adults and other alcohol-fueled injuries? It’s SEC football, damnit.

Compare that to the usually mild-tempered bar-b-ques in Douglass Park and the park looks mild. Yes, the skin tones are usually a bit darker and the participants a bit less affluent, but what’s the difference? Why allow one but not the other? Could Chadwick’s proposal simply be more white, so-called liberal paternalism (or maternalism as the case may be) from our First Ward leadership? And at what cost?

Local First Ward homeowner Ellie Moore recently commented regarding some possible real but unintended consequences that might arise if Chadwick’s proposed ban were to be successful. Ms. Moore pointed out the likelihood that police might arrest or otherwise cite someone from the neighborhood for drinking in the park. Given what we know about the overtly racist application and prosecution of our nation’s Drug War, bad enough that it has been dubbed “the new Jim Crow,” there is a high likelihood that a black male might have a felony record. “This ordinance might leave a few more children fatherless,” she said. That is a real possibility. More needless laws, more needless prohibitions increase the likelihood of a run-in with police. As most black males in the First Ward and around the country will tell you, those run-ins usually don’t turn out well.

Please let Ms. Chadwick know that you do not like the idea of prohibiting alcohol in Douglass Park. Her email is Ward1@GoColumbiaMo.com. Her phone number is (573) 999-2641. If you feel like faxing, use (573) 442-8828. Sound off, folks!

 

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Save Rock Quarry Rd.

Rock Quarry Rd. may be the last remaining scenic drive in Columbia. Most everyone in the area is familiar with the old road that winds through the grand wooded hills and valleys south of the University. What most do not know is that our local government is hatching a plan to change all of that — supposedly in the name of safety.

The flags are out and trees are marked for removal. Concerned citizens contacted Public Works to see what was afoot and were told by Director John Glasscock that the road is going to be widened. This comes after a 2011 report that stated no change to the road was warranted.

The accident rate on Rock Quarry — determined through a complex formula — is 37 percent higher than the state average; however, according to the report, redesigning the road for safety would not be considered prudent until the accident rate exceeds twice the state average.

Rock Quarry Rd. is narrow and curvy to be sure. Couple that with an uptick in traffic from ill-conceived, behemoth student housing projects at the road’s south end and the rate of traffic accidents starts to climb. Sure, there are better-lit, wider, and straighter thoroughfares to choose from, but for the late-night run from downtown for those headed south, the dark relatively un-policed road is inviting.

The Columbia Police Department has requested a new study for updated accident statistics, apparently concerned about driver safety. Linked here is story from 2011, when the discussion about Rock Quarry Rd. was taking root.

The report indicated the leading causes of accidents on the road were speeding, inattention and drunken driving, accounting for 55, 25 and 23 accidents, respectively.

But is the road really the problem? Are we tax payers really responsible for the poor driving skills and lack of good judgement on the part of drivers who venture down the old road during the wee hours? If the safety of ill-equipped and sometime impaired drivers is really our concern shouldn’t we bulldoze, flatten, and pave everything?

Roughly half of the accidents resulted from vehicles hitting fixed objects such as ditches or trees.

And do people really need to be walking and cycling on Rock Quarry Road? Who are these people?!?!

Commission members also expressed concern that the road lacks accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists.

This all seems like a silly waste of money that may drive down the property value for those who own homes along the quaint and scenic path. Implementation of this plan would be a waste of scarce resources at a time when the City is complaining about a lack of funds for updating long-ignored infrastructure in the central city.

Should we allow our government to butcher the last remaining scenic drive in our city simply because developers built student housing on a road that could not support the traffic?

I say we save everyone the headache, heartache, and money and simply post a large and well-lit sign at each end of the road bearing the message, “SCENIC ROADWAY: NARROW ROAD WITH DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD. DRIVE WITH CAUTION.” Then we can sit back and let nature take its course.

Let us at least brainstorm for some less invasive means to make the road safer while preserving the scenic and real value of existing properties. The government answer is always to use a sledge hammer when a small finishing hammer will get the job done with more finesse and less mess.

Please contact your City Council representative and tell him/her to leave Rock Quarry Road alone.

 

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City of Columbia Targets Gays and Students

Op-Ed from Stanley Diaz — President, Columbia Apartment Association 

STUDENTS and GAYS UNFAIRLY TARGETED BY CITY

Students are the main target of the new Over-Occupancy Disclosure Ordinance.  In January of this year, the Columbia City Council voted, in effect, to remove your right to privacy as granted by the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.  It also discriminates against gay couples. The ordinance says no more than three unrelated adults can live in an R1 residence but what constitutes a related family?   Are two gay couples two “families” or are they four unrelated adults?

In 2012, there were only 14 cases of over-occupancy being prosecuted by the City.  According to the homeowner associations who spoke in favor of this ordinance, the problem is almost always with students.  Over-occupancy has been against the law in Columbia for many years, but because of this handful of complaints, the City made it a law  (Columbia, Missouri City Code Section 22.184(c)) in January 2013 that all 25,000 rental unit occupants must sign a disclosure document that allows any “police officer or city inspector investigating any code violation” to see “all lease, rental payment, tenant information”.

“Tenant information” means your social security number, birth date, and more.  Note that the law says, “ANY code violation”, not just over-occupancy complaints!

I doubt that there is a single building in town that does not have one code violation.

For instance: a cracked switchplate cover, too many leaves in the gutter, a vine or tree too close to the building, missing smoke detector batteries, peeling paint, etc. are all code violations.  Is it right that 25,000 rental units, or about 50,000 adults should be subjected to this kind of treatment because of a couple of dozen complaints?

The Columbia Apartment Association does not condone  true over-occupancy violators.  They should be investigated and prosecuted when necessary.  But this disclosure ordinance is a violation of federal law, is insulting to all renters and discriminatory to Gays and Lesbian couples.  Also note that only Renters are required to fill out the Disclosure form, not homeowners.  Read the ordinance form yourself and see.

If you care about your rights or the rights of MU students in the years to come, then call the City of Columbia at 573-874-7222 or email them at ward1@gocolumbiamo.com, ward2@gocolumbiamo.com, ward3@gocolumbiamo.com, ward4@gocolumbiamo.com, ward5@gocolumbiamo.com, ward6@gocolumbiamo.com.  tell them to rescind the Over Occupancy DISCLOSURE Ordinance.

This issue comes up for vote again on July 15th please contact the city before that date.

Stanley Diaz — President, Columbia Apartment Association

Read what KCF had to say when the ordinance was introduced HERE

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