TODAY'S QUESTION: How should the Citizens Police Review Board handle an appeal from California?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 11:06 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Citizens Police Review Board will once again discuss its first appeal Wednesday night.

Ed Rosenthal, a marijuana activist from California, filed an appeal with the review board in early June about the Feb. 11 SWAT raid at 1501 Kinloch Court. 


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In this raid, the SWAT team killed a pit bull and injured another family dog. Police found a small amount of marijuana in the house. A child was also present during the raid.

Rosenthal filed an appeal after receiving a letter from Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton that said Burton had exonerated the officers involved in the SWAT raid.

On Monday, Rosenthal said he filed his appeal because SWAT raids are dangerous for the entire country, not just for Columbia. He said they create a police state and the country needs to decide whether it will tolerate these raids continuing to happen.

"This society has a choice to make," he said. "Are we going to be a civil society or a police state?"

At its June 14 meeting some review board members expressed doubts that Rosenthal had any grounds to file an appeal. Board member Susan Smith argued that since he was from California, he had no relation to the city. He also had no relationship with anyone involved in the raid. 

"The complainant admits that he only knew of the incident from a public Internet site that he voluntarily visited," Smith said at the meeting. "He has no known relationships to any parties in the incidents."

In an interview Monday, board Chairwoman Ellen LoCurto-Martinez said that under the current ordinance, the board must address Rosenthal's appeal.

However, she said she isn't sure what the outcome of the meeting will be. The board might make a decision about the appeal or it might decide it needs more information from the Police Department before making a final decision.

What decision do you think the review board should make? Are Rosenthal's claims valid, or did Burton make the correct decision in exonerating the officers?

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Carlos Sanchez August 3, 2010 | 11:36 a.m.


(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen August 3, 2010 | 2:44 p.m.

"Ed Rosenthal, a marijuana activist from California..."
I assume he is from the State of California, and not California, MO. Right?

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer August 3, 2010 | 3:05 p.m.

Thanks for your question. Yes, he is from the state of California.

— Joy Mayer,

(Report Comment)

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