Tag Archives: Police Chief Ken Burton

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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Police Labor Unions Beset Burton

Today, Ashley Cuttle, the paid director of the local police labor union, the CPOA, renewed and doubled down on her attack on Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton. Burton has done his best to reform a troubled department despite the foot-dragging of veteran officers. Change never comes easy, especially in government, but when the pant-suited pit bull Cuttle is leading the charge against that change, there is a recipe for trouble.

To assist her in her character and career assassination of Burton, Cuttle has enlisted the help of labor leader Kevin Albrand, President of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. The two appeared on the Gary Nolan Show following their meeting with Mayor Bob McDavid and City Manager Mike Mathes where they lobbied for Burton’s termination.

Mitch Richards of Keep Columbia Free called the show and artfully challenged the legitimacy of the CPOA argument during the second half of the radio segment. You can stream to the radio interview HERE or go directly to the mp3 download by clicking HERE.

While the CPOA has fought Burton at every turn, the real attack started after Burton fired Rob Sanders. Sanders was fired following his brutal assault of an unarmed and detained suspect after which he laughed about the incident as the suspect writhed on the floor in agony stemming from a broken neck.

Read all about the incident HERE

Please show your support of Chief Burton by signing our online petition. Click HERE to go to the petition.

Here is the video of the brutal attack at the hands of Rob Sanders. 

 

Update

It looks like Keep Columbia Free has worked its way under the skin of the police brutality apologists. This is a screen-shot from a Facebook page run by disgruntled ex-CPD officers. It’s a little flattering to have made their hit list alongside the Chief of Police, the City Manager, and the Editor of the Tribune.

http://www.keepcolumbiafree.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/cop-threats.jpg

Another Update:

Keep Columbia VP, Abhi Sivasailam, is featured in this ABC 17 news story talking about why we support Chief Burton.

 

Here’s another video of former officer Rob Sanders in action. This time he’s not violently assaulting an unarmed, detained citizen, but he is harassing local police watchdogs, Citizens for Justice instead of serving and protecting the public…

 

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The High Price of a Dirty Department

A few days ago at a local holiday party I was introduced to an area law enforcement officer, not an officer of the CPD. I was actually a bit surprised and somewhat flattered when she told me that she reads this blog. After a bit of casual conversation, this officer made the comment that the Columbia Police Department is “dirty — one of the dirtiest departments” she’s encountered in her many years working in law enforcement. After making this statement she made it clear that her comments were strictly off the record.

In fact, she was afraid of the repercussions that would come her way for making such a statement. The good-ol’-boy, fraternal, police union, us v. them atmosphere in law enforcement should be frightening to us all. There are good officers who cannot speak publicly about corruption for fear of losing their career of even their life. Even First Ward City Councilman Fred Schmidt expressed a fear of reprisal from the local police after making statements condemning a recent act of police brutality. (click HERE to skip to  3:10 in this video to hear what Fred has to say about his fear)

 

 



 

It is time that the citizens of Columbia realize the high costs of allowing this canker of cop corruption to continue to fester as it has for the last forty years. 

After then-Officer Rob Sanders’s brutal shoving of detainee Kenneth Baker, the city settled with Mr. Baker for a reported $250,000. But is this really all Mr. Baker received from the city? 

A source very close to the Baker camp told KCF that there is a gag order in place and the settlement was actually $750,000 along with an agreement to drop all pending charges against Baker, including his failure to pay child support which he will presumably now be able to pay with our tax dollars.

So, besides the obvious monetary costs, keeping a violent bully like Rob Sanders on the force for the past 18 years has not only cost we the taxpayers, three quarters of a million dollars, it has allowed a noted, dangerous miscreant, Kenneth Baker, to freely walk the streets among us instead of remaining behind bars where he obviously belongs. Columbia is a more dangerous place, in more ways than one, thanks to Rob Sanders and officers like him.

And Sanders, his wife, his ex-cop buddies, and the CPOA thugs have the gall to condemn Burton for firing Sanders and demand that Sanders be reinstated as an officer. If Sanders wants his job back, he should start by coughing up $750,000. I want my money back!

Sanders should have been fired years ago along with any other officer who thinks and acts like him. Let’s hope that any remaining officers who subscribe to the Sander school of police work have the moral wherewithal to change their ways or face immediate termination by Chief Burton. 

If you are interested in supporting Chief Burton in his battle to reform our police department against the will of the police unions, please sign this petition

 

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Support for Chief Burton

 ANYONE CAN SIGN THE PETITION. YOU NEED NOT BE A COLUMBIA RESIDENT TO SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF THE CHIEF.

Sign the petition in support of Chief Burton HERE

Anyone who follows the local Columbia media knows that Chief Burton has been under fire as of late. He has never been popular among the old guard, rank and file officers, but lately the local public sector police labor union, the Columbia Police Officers Association (CPOA), a national police labor union, the Fraternal Order of Police, and a group centered around a fired, former CPD Officer, Rob Sanders, and his former police dog Fano have all been on the attack.

 

Keep Columbia Free publicly endorses Chief Burton’s continued vigilance combating racial bias in his department and wholeheartedly agrees with his decision to fire Rob Sanders.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and unleashed a firestorm of police union ire was the firing of Rob Sanders. Sanders was fired for using excessive force against an inmate in a holding cell. Sanders shoved the captive man against a wall hard enough to fracture a vertebrae.

As is customary in such “dog and pony” CPD investigations, the Internal Affairs Department ruled in favor of Officer Sanders, even after he and his fellow officers were heard laughing about the incident. When Chief Burton reviewed the case, he overruled the findings of the Internal Affairs department, promptly and rightly firing Officer Sanders.

The city went on to deny Sanders the opportunity to purchase the police dog, Fano, further raising the ire of his supporters in the department.

Not surprisingly, due to its long history condoning excessive force and brutality at the hands of the Columbia Police, the CPOA has come to the aid of Sanders. The vicious attacks of the CPOA know no bounds.  CPOA Executive Director Ashley Cuttle even went so far as to make the claim to a Tribune reporter that Chief Burton has called officers and their families racists during meetings with The Bias Free Columbia Coalition. I was was in attendance at the meeting in question and sat less than 10 feet away from Chief Burton. The Chief said nothing of the sort. He simply and rightly said that nearly everyone carries some sort of racial bias and that his officers are human. Ashley Cuttle should be sued for using her status as CPOA Executive Director and union mouthpiece to float such glaring and damaging lies to the local media.

It is the CPOA that represents everything that is wrong in the Columbia Police Department. The CPOA is a rabid labor union that is more concerned with preserving officer pensions than protecting the civil rights of the very citizenry whom the officers purport to serve and protect. The CPOA cements the perverse solidarity that separates the the police from the community and turns otherwise good cops into accessories to the crimes of the few truly bad cops. Ratting on a bad CPOA member cop would carry a harsher punishment than ratting on a gang member in the streets. Chief Burton is now paying the price for daring to clean up a department that has struggled with integrity for many years.

And the attacks keep coming. Even the recently retired CPD Officer Jeff Westbrook penned an editorial in the Tribune denouncing Chief Burton. Westbrook was the detective who refused to allow detained criminal suspect Nicole Palmer to speak to her attorney despite several requests to do so. At 1:50 and 5:40 in the following video you can see Officer Jeff Westbrook in action, grinding our beloved Bill of Rights into the dirt with the heel of his jackboot, as he denies council to a prisoner. If this is the caliber of officer (or former officer) calling for Burton’s head, Burton must be doing something right.

 

 

Now these forces who are calling for the reinstatement of Rob Sanders have dredged up a 30+ year-old accusation of excessive force leveled against Chief Burton when he was a Dallas police officer. Thanks to the level-headed thinking of our freshman City Manager, Mike Matthes, this silly and ultimately dirty campaign will go nowhere.

Although we have not always agreed with Chief Burton, Keep Columbia Free publicly endorses Chief Burton’s continued vigilance combating racial bias in his department and wholeheartedly agree with his decision to fire Rob Sanders. Chief Burton is a welcome improvement when compared to the leadership the CPD has seen over the past 30 years. The so-called low morale in the department is merely a symptom of the decay left from the past years of poor management. It hurts to clean an infected wound. 

One thing has been made clear by these recent and ongoing events. Civilian oversight of our dysfunctional police department is more important than ever. Our Citizens Police Review Board needs to be given teeth and allowed to do more than merely make suggestions.  Please see a recent memorandum Keep Columbia Free submitted to the City Council and the CPRB. 

 

For another take on the subject, see  local policy analyst Eapen Thampy’s blog, Ducks and Economics.

 

Mark Flakne

 

 

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Thoughts on the CPRB Public Hearing and Work Session

The recent Citizens Police Review Board public hearing and subsequent work session was nothing short of entertaining. Outside of Bill Easley’s cantankerous rant and Marlon Jordan‘s “klan” theatrics, the public hearing was moving. The overwhelming majority of the nearly 80 in attendance, and the 15 or 20 folks who addressed the board in 3 minute increments, were there to ask that the board reject the changes proposed by Chief Burton and the Columbia Police Officers Association. [See our previous blog on the proposed changes] There were a handful of seats occupied by current and former police officers or police volunteers, two of whom addressed the board in support of Chief Burton and the CPOA, but there were no civilians who voiced approval for the ordinance change.

When the public hearing came to a close, after a 30 minute extension, the board’s work session began with an invitation for Chief Burton and CPOA representatives, Eric Dearmont and Ashley Cuttle to take a seat on the stage. Much to the chagrin of the citizens in the crowd, public comment was stifled as these three were given unlimited time to rebut and refute any and all input from the public.

It is important to note that while the Chief is a public employee and an argument could be made for him having a seat in the work session, neither Eric Dearmont nor Ashley Cuttle are public employees and are instead paid employees of the CPOA. The CPOA, while comprised of citizens employed as police officers and attorneys hired to represent them, is not a public entity. It is a private organization, not subject to sunshine laws or official public scrutiny. In reality, the CPOA is no different than any of the other reputable organizations that were in attendance at the hearing and limited to only 3 minutes of input each.

The message sent by allowing the CPOA unlimited and unrebutted input into the proceedings is undeniable. The review board has been labeled as sympathetic to the police since its inception, and allowing the CPOA a bully pulpit at a work session only serves to bolster the label.  The reaction from the crowd in attendance was also undeniable as eruptions of vocal discord periodically interrupted the work sessions with shouts of “bullshit” (disguised as sneezes) and loud demands for public rebuttal to the misleading and outright false claims made by both the Chief and the CPOA.

In an interesting turn, one board member, Susan Smith, who this blogger previously derided as a police stooge, heroically stood her ground against the unencumbered onslaught from Chief Burton and the CPOA, and forcefully repelled the attack with well reasoned arguments. This180 degree about face caused several jaws to drop in the audience. It was a truly pivotal moment as Ms. Smith informed the Chief that it was the City Council and not the CPRB who had already ruled on who might have standing in front of the board so asking for another change would be futile. Not only had the City Council ruled on standing, they had broadened the scope of who can file a complaint after the board suggested it be tightened. Smith made it clear that the board would not be making the same request twice. Ms. Smith went on to point out the many holes in how the Chief described the board’s rulings. Kudos to you, Ms. Smith.

There were two more vocal heroes who piped up during the work session. Betty Wilson continued her stalwart support of the citizenry as she made it clear that she was having none of what the Chief and the CPOA were offering. Even Rose Wibbenmeyer, in her role as city legal council for the board, pointed out why a charter city like Columbia does not need to adhere to State definitions of misconduct and went on to refute several other disingenuous legal arguments made by Eric Dearmont. Rose maintained her professional distance and did not offer an opinion,merely facts.

Even newcomer and former LAPD officer, Roger Dowis, challenged a few of the Chief’s points, seemingly finding his voice on the board. Strangely, many for the other board members spoke only once, or for procedural rules of order, or not at all. 

Enjoy a few videos from the hearing, most of which are courtesy of the amazing folks over at Citizens for Justice.

 

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