Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond claims that his deputies will start wearing body cameras again in the near future. We will believe that when we see it. His announcement comes conveniently before the election and there is a good chance that he will be voted out of office in favor of Dr. Brad Anders. Kevin Bond’s conveniently timed commitment to body cameras is far too little far too late in our opinion. We believe that this is a last ditch effort by him to save his job by throwing his own deputies under the bus. We hope that the people of Pettis County are smart enough to see this for what it truly is.
Sheriff Bond claims that the County Commission made body cameras a priority after special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff refused to charge Deputy Jordan Schutte with the murder of Hannah Fizer citing in part the lack of body or dash camera footage. Sheriff Bond said, “The fact that the deputy did not have a camera on was an issue that came about very quickly. And it was something that the County Commission realized was a priority that needed to be addressed.” That is a lie, the fact that his deputies do not wear body cameras is not an issue that came about quickly at all. According to Pettis County IT Director Luke Goosen (https://copblaster.com/blast/25925/pettis-county-it-director-luke-goosen-speaks-out-against-sheriff-bond) it was Sheriff Bond who conveniently made it impossible for his department to fix the body camera system after PCSO deputies began wearing them more than three years ago. It took the murder of an innocent woman on her way to work by an incompetent deputy for the people of Pettis County to demand body cameras and the County Commission has since made the cameras a priority thanks to the cries of their constituents. Kevin Bond has shown through his actions that the people of Pettis County cannot and should not trust him with their safety.
Our sources in Sedalia, Missouri have informed us that Sheriff Bond and Deputy Schutte’s father were the best of friends. We believe that nepotism runs strong in local government there and that Sheriff Bond has prioritized the interests of his friend’s son over the well being of the general public. The fact that Sokoloff, whose been a pro-cop lawyer his entire career, did not indict Schutte only shows how tight the law enforcement fraternity is in Missouri. Despite that, even Sokoloff seemed to blame Sheriff Bond for denying justice to Hannah Fizer (https://copblaster.com/blast/25966/stephen-sokoloff-calls-the-murder-of-hannah-fizer-justified). Sokoloff’s findings basically said that there was not enough evidence to prove that Schutte was lying about Hannah threatening to shoot him. Those alleged threats combined with surveillance footage of her reaching towards the floor of her car, likely looking for her phone since Schutte admits she threatened to film him, and despite no gun being found, were enough for Sokoloff to refuse to indict Schutte. There is a systemic double standard that favors law enforcement personnel in such cases in this country. Those responsible for holding them accountable require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they are lying when an ordinary person would be charged and forced to prove themselves innocent in a court of law. Body cameras are necessary to overcome that double standard by providing proof of what really happened.
If Sheriff Bond actually implements a functional body camera system before the election we hope that people still do not view that as good enough to earn their vote. We hope that such a system saves Brad Anders the work so that he can focus on fixing other problems there. Problems like Schutte still being employed by the PCSO. Sokoloff’s findings made it clear that Schutte could have handled the situation better and we believe those words should serve as grounds to fire him. Should Bond remain employed by the PCSO is a lesser capacity after the election, we hope that Anders has the presence of mind to fire Bond so that his department can get as much of a fresh start under him as possible.
Hannah Fizer’s family and friends have convinced us in recent months that they are good people. Watching them protest peacefully every weekend seeking justice for Hannah only to get slapped in the face by Sokoloff was absolutely heart breaking. If there is one thing the people of Pettis County can do to honor Hannah in a way that the Fizer family will support it would be to vote for Brad Anders.
Published at Fri, 25 Sep 2020 17:56:20 +0000