JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Governor is addressing civil unrest and gives update on covid-19.
Our Capitol Bureau Reporter Jeff Bernthal is in Jefferson City with a look at the Governor’s take on calls for police reform.
The Governor said blaming all of law enforcement is not the answer and said he will continue to meet with groups community leaders to try and address concerns highlighted by protesters.
One call for change from some protesters includes calling for a ban on chokeholds and other uses of force the could result in death.
Governor Parson, said, “Use of force should always be the minimum until you have to use it there’s a lot of other actions to be taken before you ever do Force. And that’s the training law-enforcement officers go through I think if there’s something in there that needs adjustment on it we need to change the way were doing business I think he put it on the table. We have that discussion and see how we move forward.”
St. Louis Representative Steve Roberts is also chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus.
He’s also calling for a ban on law enforcement use of chokeholds and for the Governor to veto SB 600, a crime bill that includes a host of measures including tougher sentencing for some criminals.
Rep. Steven Roberts, (D) – St. Louis, said, “Maybe the want the sentence to run concurrently or consecutively they’re forcing them to make the sentences to run consecutively so there are a lot of problems with that bill and I really hope the Governor will veto it.”
I asked the Governor if he was ready to make a decision on whether he will veto SB 600. Some say it would lead to the need for more prisons.
He said it’s too soon to say but has concerns over any legislation that would result in more prisons.
“I’m not interested in building more prisons in the state of Missouri I mean that would be last resort for me I’ll just say that on that any question you had luck we’ve got to figure out alternative ways to get people back to work get them in society figure out how we can sustain that,” said Parson.
On covid-19, the Governor said on Thursday he will be announcing more details about what phase two of the state’s recovery plan will look like.
His administration reports meeting all the goals necessary for moving forward, including the expansion of testing.