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St. Louis County Council hears from groups wanting changes with police department and animal shelter

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - St. Louis County Council members heard from several different groups on Tuesday.  One called for a St. Louis County Police officer to be fired.  Millicent Williams said she was pulled over earlier this year, cursed at and touched inappropriately by a St. Louis County Police officer.  Williams is African-American and the officer is white.  The officer was disciplined but Williams addressed the council saying the officer should be fired.

“If it was a black officer and a white woman he’d never be working,” said Williams.

There were some members of the public who called on the police chief to be fired.

“It’s obvious there’s a culture that’s been going on for a while,” said Rev. Phillip Duvall.  “There’s no reason for him to remain the top.”

Another group that delivered a message to the council were mothers of police officers.  They asked the council and the public to consider the level of stress and danger police officers face daily.  One of the mothers said, “If you must put on a bulletproof vest before you go to work, there’s a possibility of you already being shot and killed.”

Another issue that brought a group of concerned citizens before the council involves the county’s animal shelter.  Volunteers were recently notified they must undergo an interview process before they can return to help.  A lawyer representing some volunteers said the new policy is a way to silence whistleblowers and a waste of taxpayer money.

“They just want to be allowed to keep going in volunteering and taking care of the animals like they have been,” said Daniel Kolde, attorney.

Some volunteers believe the shelter struggles to provide adequate care and believes the welfare of animals will be jeopardized while volunteers wait to go through the interview process.  St. Louis County officials have said the process of interviewing volunteers will help determine the best way to care for the animals.

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