Friday, September 05, 2008


I guess they are just not used to any protests in Moberly, Missouri. Otherwise how can you explain the heightened security and tension at a city council meeting his week where the threat of someone speaking about the recent death of a Moberly resident at the hands of police. The council meeting followed a protest over the weekend in town.

Dozens of Moberly residents had protested the death of Stanley Harlan Firday night according to Columbia, Missouri radio station KOMU.

Moberly police Tased Harlan twice after they say he resisted arrest. But protesters have a different story. They say Moberly officers used excessive force and do so frequently.

They call Harlan’s death the final straw and say some form of disciplinary action needs to be taken.

“I want the brutality, excessive force, the harassment, that the Moberly Police Department puts on these young people to come to an end,” said mother Anthena Bachteo.

Bachteo also spoke at the city council meeting in Moberly.

On Tuesday night in nearby Columbia, Missouri (the home of the University of Missouri) several members of the Grass Roots Organizing (GRO) complained how the Columbia police failed to address taser concerns a recent report which followed the death of a man there who had also been tasered.

The group complained about loose and subjective regulations. The group also says the report does not include public input for taser rules.

KOMU reports the members of GRO collected more than 500 signatures to present to the city council. The petition demands police create a task force to study taser use, and to delay the training or arming of police officers, until the task force completes its study and the city council votes on it.

"There should be imminent danger before this powerful weapon is used," GRO member Renee Kientz said.

For an earlier related Oread Daily story go to .

The following is from the Moberly, Missouri Index Monitor.

Security tight but council meeting remains low-key

Public outcry and a weekend protest following the Thursday death of Stanley Harlan involving a Taser used by local police, led to heightened security at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Those attending the meeting were asked to use the front entrance where bags and persons were checked for weapons. Two officers patrolled the interior of the city council chambers, in addition to Police Chief Dennis Cupp and Asst. Chief Russell Tarr who generally attend most council meetings as department heads. The meeting was sparsely attended and while emotional statements were given for both sides, everything remained peaceful.

Harlan’s mother, Athena Bachtel, went before the council during regular session and made a plea to ban the use of Tasers.

“I am here in memory of Stanley James William Harlan,” she said. “Please. Get these outlawed.”

John Milnes had a different point of view.

“My father taught me to obey authority and I thank him for it,” said Milnes. “A red light means to stop. Halt means to stop running. If law enforcement can’t use their authority, what will happen? Please think carefully about taking power from law enforcement before you make a decision.”

Mayor Don Burton thanked everyone for their comments regarding the matter then made the following statement:

“We are all aware of the tragic events that occurred early last Thursday morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is conducting an ongoing investigation into the incident and that investigation has not been completed.

“Comments have publicly been made of possible impending litigation in this matter. Because of that possibility the City counselors have instructed that no further comments be made by any city staff member on this subject.

Any questions about the investigation should be directed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.”
Trash bags

Mark Hunter spoke to the council asking when the trash bag dilemma would be solved.

Blue city trash bags are temporarily out of stock at local retail outlets. In response to consumers' requests for improved bag quality, Veolia has found another manufacturer of the trash bags which are required for city collection. The manufacturer has encountered a delay of some sort and was not able to supply the bags when promised. A limited number of bags were available for purchase at city hall but bags are no longer available. Stickers are available at City Hall and the Transfer station. Residents may purchase these and use them on ordinary trash bags, as long as those bags do not exceed the normal 40 lb. weight limit. The current shipment of bags was ordered a month ago and is scheduled to arrive in stores Thursday Sept. 4. Questions may be directed to Veolia at 800-778-7652 ask for Amber Burnam.

In work session, the council discussed an ordinance to amend a contract regarding the runway and taxiway extensions to the Omar N. Bradley Airport and an ordinance to execute a change order regarding the Monroe Street sewer separation project. Also to be approved at the next regular session meeting is the agreement with Shafer, Kline and Warren to provide professional services for improvements at the Sugar Creek Lake Recreation area.

At the next regular session, the council will vote whether to place on the February 3, 2009 ballot an issue that would double the “lodging” tax. Voters approved a 2 percent tax in 2003 on hotels and motels. These monies help fund tourism projects. The council will ask voters to increase the tax to 4 percent.

The next meeting of the Moberly City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m., September 15, at City Hall.

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