CAPCR Steering Committee
The Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression began in 1983 as a united front to get justice for Marilyn Banks, killed by a reckless police officer. That campaign got Officer Joseph Ferrario indicted and removed from the force. Unfortunately, Ferrario’s trial was moved to Kansas City where he was acquitted of criminal charges.
From the beginning, CAPCR demanded that the police department be taken from the State of Missouri and put back into the hands of the citizens of St. Louis. We also demanded a civilian review board that would be democratically elected by the citizens.
Our mission, then and now, is to 1) end police crimes and abuse; 2) end the criminalization of a generation; and 3) to expose the prison industrial complex.
Toward those goals, we have supported victims, survivors and their families through protest, direct action and advocacy. Through the years we have fought for justice for Garland Carter, Julius Thurman, Jerome Johnson, Arthur Dobbins, and others. With the goal of achieving community control, greater transparency and better police accountability, we have long pushed for an effective Civilian Oversight Board; our bill for civilian oversight passed the Board of Aldermen in 2007 but was vetoed by Mayor Slay.
That same year we began a new campaign to get local control of St. Louis police. After just under 150 years of State control, we wanted to see a police department more open and responsive to citizen input. Though there are still many issues still to fight in getting community control of the police, we won that battle in November 2013 when St. Louis once again gained local control of the police.
With that victory achieved, we have returned our sights to getting and effective Civilian Oversight Board for St. Louis. Now we are on the eve of attaining that goal. Our first bill is set to pass this April, and we are pushing to further strengthen the COB through bills to give it subpoena power and to create an independent Department of Civilian Oversight.
Our campaigns have merged with the larger Ferguson movement to enforce that Black Lives Matters. Our members have been intimately involved since early in August 2014 and have worked as part of the Don’t Shoot Coalition and other groups to achieve justice for Mike Brown and the entire Black community.