Archive for the ‘Missouri Politics’ Category

National Guard Sent to Ferguson, Autopsy: Brown Shot 6 Times
August 18, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – Missouri’s governor on Monday ordered the National Guard to a St. Louis suburb convulsed by protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen, after a night in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to Ferguson, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.

“These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes,” Nixon said in a statement.

The latest confrontations came on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as a preliminary private autopsy reported by The New York Times found Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

As night fell in Ferguson Sunday, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated and the streets were empty well before the midnight curfew.

“Based on the conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of response,” said Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson. At least two people were wounded in shootings by civilians, he said.

The “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding Brown’s death and a request by his family prompted the Justice Department’s decision to conduct a third autopsy, agency spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. The examination was to take place as soon as possible, Fallon said.

The results of a state-performed autopsy would be taken into account along with the federal examination in the Justice Department’s ongoing civil rights investigation, Fallon said.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, told The New York Times that one of the bullets entered the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury.

Brown also was shot four times in the right arm, and all the bullets were fired into his front, Baden said.

The Justice Department already had deepened its investigation into the shooting. A day earlier, officials said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door gathering information in the Ferguson neighborhood where Brown was shot to death Aug. 9.

A federally conducted autopsy “more closely focused on entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises” might help that investigation, said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor who supervised the criminal civil rights section of Miami’s U.S. attorney’s office.

Federal authorities also want to calm any public fears that no action will be taken on the case, Weinstein said.

Police have said little about the encounter between Brown and the officer, except to say that it involved a scuffle in which the officer was injured and Brown was shot. Witnesses say the teenager had his hands in the air as the officer fired multiple rounds.

Sunday’s clashes in Ferguson erupted three hours before the curfew imposed by Nixon. Officers in riot gear ordered all the protesters to disperse, and many did, but about 100 stood about two blocks away until getting hit by another volley of tear gas.

Protesters laid a line of cinder blocks across the street in an apparent attempt to block police vehicles, which easily plowed through. Someone set a trash bin on fire, and the crackle of gunfire could be heard from several blocks away.

Within two hours, most people had been cleared off West Florissant Avenue, one of the community’s main thoroughfares. The streets remained quiet as the curfew began. It was to remain in effect until 5 a.m.

Calls for Calm & Taunts at Police Rule Tuesday Night in Ferguson
August 13, 2014

AP) – Kansas City health authorities in Missouri and Kansas are investigating infections among 14 infants with a virus that can cause meningitis and other inflammation.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1kAFIdY ) reports the first cases of a strain of a human parechovirus were discovered in June.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow says none of the infants has died from HPeV3 but all have been hospitalized. Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital have reported cases.

She says it’s unclear if the infections are connected. Nine of the children are from Kansas and the rest are Missouri residents.

Rosenow says the department is working with the Missouri Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if there have been other infections.

Cierpoit Predicts “Friday Favors” Override as GOP Gathers in KC
August 8, 2014

One of the Republican Leaders of the Missouri House, Jackson County St. rep Mike Ciepiot predicts lawmakers will override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a a series of tax cut bills according to the Missouri Times.
Nixon calls the bill the “Friday Favors”, since they were passed on a Friday, the last day of the session in May.
Ciepiot made his predict as members of the House Republican Campaign Committee gather this weekend I. Kansas City for a pre- veto session meeting.
Cierpiot told the Times the meeting was a chance for the Republican House caucus to meet and talk what is coming at the veto session.
““Governor Nixon is working very hard to stir the pot with local government folks with some information that is just plain exaggerated or false, and we want to make sure we are prepared to rebut that'” Ciepiot said.
The article says Ciepiot, assistant House Leader, is assigned to track the votes of his GOP colleagues for the veto session.
Lawmakers return to Jefferson City in September to consider Nixon’s vetoes.
In 2013, the GOP dominated Legislature set a record, overturning 10 of the Governor’s actions.

Koster to Defend Missouri Against KC same Sex Lawsuit
August 8, 2014

(AP)–A federal judge will hear a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s ban on gay marriage after state Attorney General Chris Koster intervened in the case and moved it out of state court.
The switch could put the Missouri case on a more direct route through the federal appellate courts at a time when U.S. judges have been increasingly striking down other states’ gay-marriage bans.

“We wanted at least one of the cases (from Missouri) to be considered in a court of broader jurisdiction,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said Thursday.

At issue is a lawsuit attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union filed earlier this summer in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of two same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders announced earlier that the County would not spend money defending the County against the lawsuit.

Although the state was not named as a defendant, Koster’s office intervened because the lawsuit alleges Missouri’s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage violates equal-protection and due-process rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Because of the alleged federal violations, Koster’s office moved the case to U.S. District Court, where it has been assigned to Judge Ortrie Smith.

Koster, a Democrat who is running for governor in 2016, has said he personally supports gay marriage but will carry out his official duties by defending Missouri’s ban. His office filed federal court documents earlier this week, arguing Missouri’s prohibition should be upheld because states have a right to set their own rational constraints on domestic relations until the U.S. Supreme Court says otherwise.

McCaskill: Love NASCAR but Guard Sponsorship Didn’t Work
August 7, 2014

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who raised questions about the amount of money the National Guard was spending on NASCAR sponsorships, reacted to the news the Gyard is dropping it’s NASCAR sponsorships (see previous post)
“”I’m a NASCAR fan, and I love the National Guard—but spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a recruitment program that signed up zero recruits, and that has been abandoned by other service branches as ineffective, just makes no sense,” McCaskill said in a news release.

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