Columbia community members are calling for greater police oversight following revelations in recent reporting related to the 2021 officer-involved shooting death of Quillan Jacobs.
Jacobs was alleged to have participated in a firefight outside of Vibez Lounge Nov. 14, 2021 that resulted in five bystander injuries, with Jacobs shot and killed by officers soon after.
More: Columbia police: 1 killed, 5 injured in ‘mass casualty incident’ downtown
Recently released medical examiner and police reports have indicated officers failed to activate body-worn cameras, that Jacobs was shot 13 times and that there was lack of gunshot residue found on Jacobs.
Chriss Jones, representing Stop Police Violence, a division of local advocacy organization Race Matters, Friends, during a public comment at Monday’s Columbia City Council meeting called on the council and City Administrator De’Carlon Seewood to have the case reopened.
“The coroner ruled (Jacob’s) death a homicide,” she said. “It is time we learn from history so we don’t have to keep repeating the cycle of police violence. … Join me and say his name, Quillan Jacobs!”
She referenced conflicting police written reports and ballistics reports where only two bullets could not be attributed to handguns issued to Columbia Police Department officers.
Jacobs’ family was in the Columbia City Council audience meeting Monday holding signs with his name.
Other oversight concerns regarding the city’s police were brought forth by Columbia business owner Anthony Willroth in relation to charges filed last week against Donye Jackson. Jackson was allegedly involved in an October shooting in the area of Hitt of Locust streets that left three injured, including a University of Missouri student.
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Prior to the October shooting, Jackson’s family had a civil suit related to human rights violations against the city’s police department leadership, Willroth said, referencing other media reporting, The civil suit was in US District Court but dismissed after the death of the family’s, Stephen Wyse, of natural causes in Junehe added.
Willroth said he has seen police body-worn camera footage from the civil suit, which he alleges features Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones,
The officer behavior Willroth alleges should not be defended by attorneys for the city, he said.
Better civilian oversight of the police was also called for by Laura Gutierrez Perez, who is a former member of the Citizens Police Review Board.
“These families are waiting for answers and I think you owe them those answers,” she said. “… We need effective civilian oversight. SB 26 has rendered the police accountable to no one.”
The questions the public need to be answered, said First Ward Council Member Pat Fowler following public comments at the end of Monday’s meeting.
She also referred to a closed-door meeting in which council members received more information giving further background to recently publicly released information. Council members are not yet able to speak publicly about the information that was received she said, which was also backed up by Third Ward Council Member Roy Lovelady.
“I got lots of calls and questions. … Extend us some grace because there are some things we just cannot speak about,” he said.
From 2021: Family of suspect in Nov. 14 shooting holds vigil after he was killed by police
Mayor Barbara Buffaloe sought responses from City Manager De’Carlon Seewood specifically about the Jacobs death investigation.
When Jacobs was killed, that set off an independent Missouri Highway Patrol investigation, Seewood said, adding there is misinformation out publicly in relation to his death.
The patrol investigation only looks at the officer-involved shooting and does not review what led to it, he said.
“We have three separate investigations. One is the highway patrol, one is the investigation that looks at what led up to the officer-involved shooting and the internal affairs investigation,” Seewood said, adding a gun and shell casings were found.
The city’s investigative reports were released via authorization from the county prosecutor’s office, he added.
City leaders still have to figure out what can be said and acknowledge what happened, Buffaoloe said.
“To not acknowledge it is just as harmful. … It is important to acknowledge when these things happen,” she said.
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Subscribe to support vital local journalism.
This article originally appeared on the Columbia Daily Tribune: Community members want new investigation of 2021 officer-involved shooting