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Citizens Police Review Board hears from public after incident involving two officers


Several members of the public spoke to the Columbia Citizens Police Review Board about the police department's use-of-force policy during a meeting Wednesday night.

The board was scheduled to have an official discussion about the Columbia Police Department's use-of-force policy. The board voted unanimously to table a couple of items on the agenda, including the policy discussion.

Board member Rhonda Carlson said that these policies will continue to be a discussion among board members, but the board wanted to give the public the chance to speak.

Race Matters, Friends, Hold Como Accountable and other local activists attended the meeting to voice their concerns about the police department.

This comes just days after two officers were involved in an incident in downtown Columbia. A video circulated online that showed a man being punched in the face by an officer five times. Both officers involved were put on leave. The officers shown in the video have yet to be identified.

Community members voiced their concerns to the board about the officer's use of force during that altercation.

"I encourage you to use whatever influence that you have to get rid of those two punks," said Matthew Cummings, a former military officer. "As long as you have officers running around treating people like trash, it's nothing."

Another community member said, "We talk about only some bad apples, but we forget that a bad apple spoils the whole bunch."

She added that she wants, "to know why there has been pretty much no concern for the welfare of the victim of this crime."

The review board was supposed to dig into the use of less-lethal force or deadly force before the discussion was ultimately tabled.

Columbia Police Department Policy 300 states officers shall use only the force that is objectively reasonable to bring an incident under control.

This isn't the first time that local organizations have spoken out about the alleged mishandling of some incidents by Columbia police officers. The group Race Matters, Friends says it's left with unanswered questions involving the police shooting and killing Quillan Jacobs.

The board was also expected to discuss items including police training, discharging guns, chokeholds, weapons and medical aid. Carlson said these policies are an ongoing agenda item that the board plans to continue to review.

The board's next meeting is on June 14th.

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Kennedy Miller


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