Independence Police Chief Fred Mills should have been ousted months ago. Yet he remains in the post and — more surprisingly — I’ve seen no indication of a call for his scalp from Independence residents.
Here’s the known litany of problems:
- Last year, in an undercover sting operation, a man posing as a citizen was refused when he asked the department for a citizen complaint form.
- At least two innocent people have been killed as a result of police chases. The most recent fatality was 17-year-old Truman High student Chris Cooper, who was struck by a car being chased by police.
- The emergency dispatch center has been called a dysfunctional “dungeon” in a formal report and by people who work there.
The galling thing about the chases in which two innocent people were killed is that in one case police were chasing a man for a traffic violation. In Cooper’s case, they were chasing a car that had rammed another car. In neither case had the person being chased committed a crime involving direct bodily harm.
Let’s hope the administration of Independence Mayor Don Reimal has the guts to remove Mills and give the city a fresh start on law enforcement.
Blame those being pursued
The flawed, convoluted solutions usually offered by liberals to various problems can best be illustrated by The Star’s Nov. 14 editorial “Tighten policies on chases.”
You have two parties in a police chase: the lawbreaker who caused the chase and the law enforcer who is chasing. But as usual, The Star is blaming the wrong party — the law enforcer, in this case. And just as with lobbying for more and stricter laws against the peaceful, lawful gun owners, The Star’s liberal Editorial Board urges society to further restrict only the innocent party: the law enforcer.
The police are usually not the cause of injuries suffered in a car chase. Lawful gun owners are not usually the cause of criminal gun violence. Pass more laws against all criminal behavior. But leave the police law enforcers and the lawful gun owners alone.