Justice Department training St. Louis officers to police without prejudice

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SUNSET HILLS, MO (KTVI) – The U.S. Department of Justice comes to St. Louis to teach police officers how to police ‘without’ prejudice.

For two days, commanders from the St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Ferguson police departments have been learning how to make sure they are treating civilians fairly.

It is the result of a request from St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, who back in August asked the Justice Department to review county police practices to see what is working and what is not.

The bias training is part of that process.

‘Even the overwhelming number of well-intentioned officers have biases that can impact on their perception, their behavior and produce discriminatory behavior,’ said Dr. Lorie Fridell, a criminologist from the University of South Florida, who was one of the trainers.

And she says what they teach is not always about racial prejudice.

‘Focusing on that low-income car without reason to focus on that car can be a bias about low income individuals,’ she said. At the last training we had (elsewhere), there were a lot of individuals nodding with disbelief, saying they hadn`t thought about that before but focusing on those cars is bias.’

The training program is called Fair and Impartial Policing.

One of the Justice Departments recommendations is more community policing.

‘You to know the neighbors in a non-enforcement capacity before the demonstration, before the skirmish line.’ said Ronald Davis, the head of the Office of Community Policing at the Justice Department. ‘I get to know you because to know you helps break down that stereotype,’ he said.

The initial findings about practices at the county police department will be released in six months with a follow-up report in a year. The county can choose to follow or ignore and of the recommendations.

A similar Justice Department examination, known as a “patterns and practices” review is being done on
Ferguson Police. That one however is not voluntary and its recommendations will be enforced by the courts.

Davis says all departments should be examining their practices, even if they have few complaints of bias.

‘Silence is not satisfaction,’ Davis said. ‘Just because people are not yelling and screaming at you does not mean they don`t feel disenfranchised or disengaged.”

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News