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CPOA accuses city manager of 'sabotage' after court testimony

Union says Matthes undermined law enforcement

City manager criticized over comments...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Police Officers Association is calling out a city officials for testimony given in court Wednesday.

A representative of the city manager appeared in the Boone County Circuit Court and testified on behalf of Cezan Darrenontay Stock, who was seeking judicial parole for two traffic-related misdemeanors.

"Defendant Cezan Stock is a repeat offender who does not belong on the streets of Columbia," said CPOA director Dale Roberts. "He has repeatedly threatened our officers as well as members of the public."

Roberts called the city manager's actions "sabotage" and that the city's law enforcement staff were being "undermined."

"Our officers are appalled that the City Manager would undermine the work of his employees at the Columbia Police Department," said Roberts. "Our police officers risk their lives every day to reduce gun-related crime in Columbia and it is an outrage for the City Manager to sabotage their work and
come to the defense of the very people the criminal justice system is trying to incarcerate."

Matthes distributed a response to the police department and to the association.

"I was unaware of the statements made by Judy Hubbard related to work release for CJ Stock and had not asked for them to be made," said Matthes. "I am very interested in moving forward with our Focused Deterrence efforts. I had spoken with Judy and Glenn Cobbins about that effort previously and that conversation was the basis of Judy's comments."

The city manager also said he did "not want to give up on Mr. Stock."

Stock appeared in court on Monday afternoon with his attorney to ask Judge Jeff Harris for work release. His attorney, Kevin O'Brien, said that Stock may have work lined up with a catering comapny, and asked Harris for home detention. Harris asked for a home detention plan study and scheduled a hearing for Nov. 13.

Hubbard attended the hearing on Monday, but declined to comment on the CPOA's release.

Steve Sapp, spokesman for the city, said the city manager's office discussed the situation with Hubbard. While they had discussed the city's efforts toward focused deterrence, Matthes had not given explicit permission for her to speak on behalf of his office at the hearing for Stock.

"The city does not typically take a position on these types of cases, and certainly we don't take a position unless we have the authority to do so," Sapp said.

Stock's mother, Andrea Brookins, claimed the CPOA's comments were further evidence of the police department's harassment of her family. Brookins has said the department targeted her son due to their filing of complaints against officers for misconduct. 

Stock has no felony convictions, despite at one point being charged with a felony in one case. Officers have said before Stock is linked to several other gun-related crimes in Columbia. Brookins said those accusations don't have merit.

"They're worried about a person that's incarcerated for two traffic tickets when they just had 10 shootings in five days?" Brookins said, citing a recent number of crimes in town. "Solve a murder. Solve a shooting."

Roberts said that he and the officers supported the city's efforts to keep people away from criminal behavior. The focused deterrence program allows police to work with people on the verge of entering the criminal justice system, and putting repeat offenders on notice that they're being watched while helping them stay away from crime. Roberts said the officers would be comfortable with whatever Harris decided in the case, but had issues with a city employee speaking in support of the defense in a case.

"[It m]ade us feel like one of those situations where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing," Roberts said.

Sapp said those who benefit from the focused deterrence program would ultimately be up to the police department.

The full documents can be viewed by clicking the links below:

Release from the Columbia Police Officer's Association

Emailed statement by City Manager Mike Matthes


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