Joplin for Justice release report on Joplin Police Department policies

JOPLIN, Mo. – Last year, Joplin for Justice announced a petition asking the Joplin Police Department for details on past shootings, use-of-force reports, and hiring practices. At the Joplin for Justice rally tonight came the announcement that an independent organization had conducted an external review of the current policies and procedures of the Joplin Police Department.

Dola Flake with Joplin for Justice says “I think the smarter move would have been push it out into the future as far as possible and then rescind it whenever the timing is right to rescind it, that’s one thing I wish we would have done the first mask ordinance, the second one that came in in November, obviously we put it out to the end of February and we tried to put it in as long as we possibly thought we could to not feel, to feel like when it expired it was going to be an okay time for it to expire.”

According to its website, ‘Eight Can’t Wait’ is a campaign to bring immediate change to police departments. The website highlights use of force numbers and policies across the country. As of this newscast, Joplin, specifically, wasn’t on their website. However, Flake says the report from Eight Can’t Wait will be available on the Joplin for Justice Facebook page.

Back to Joplin specifically, according to Flake, the report showed Joplin’s policy score was a 12.5 out of a possible 110. Flake says part of the reason for the low score is policies that are out of date. “So we know that we have policies that leave people vulnerable to being mistreated and exposure to excessive force.”

Flake says she knows of some policies that aren’t up to par in the department. “There are specific policies that come to mind, for example, really lax policies related to sedation if you need to arrest somebody, we also have lack of policies that require a verbal announcement before using deadly force, so some really concerning policies.”

We reached out to the Joplin Police Department about this report. We got this statement in response saying quote “Administration officials with JPD have met with Joplin for Justice members in the past in response to a petition, but to date have not been apprised of a study for findings by their organization.”

You can review an excerpt of the report below.

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