Jennings School District students march to police department for justice, positive change

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JENNINGS, MO (KTVI)- Dozens of Jennings School District students started their school day extra early before classes began Thursday morning.  They marched with demands for St. Louis County Police. The march started at Jennings High School shortly after 7a.m. About 80 students walked about a block then boarded buses that took them to Jennings Station Road near West Florissant.

That`s where they continued marching to the St Louis County Police station in Jennings. The students carried signs and chanted about changing policing after the Michael Brown shooting. “I honestly do want to see change. It doesn`t just start with Michael brown. It`s been previous cases that haven`t been heard out,” said Jennings High School student Kievonn Munger.

Another Jennings High student, Shareese Waldon, added, “We want change. We want peace. We want things to change.” The students brought five demands for St. Louis County Police.

Those are hire more minorities, purchase and use body cameras by the end of 2015, assign a special prosecutor in fatal police shootings, change the training in police shooting tactics and train officers in community policing. The students came up with the demands after watching hundreds of students in the Ferguson Florissant School District walk out of school last week in protest.

The Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Anderson convinced her students to stay in class and come up with demands. Then she organized this march to start before school so any class time missed would be minimized. Anderson wore a pin remembering Mike Brown. “We believe that we can protest and still stay in school at the same time,” explained Anderson.

The students and County Police talked for some time in a conference room inside the Jennings precinct station. Mike Brown`s sister, who attends Jennings high school, was among those who took part. She did not want to speak publicly but listened as the discussion unfolded.

County Police called the meeting productive. “All those questions were important and they were realistic of course. The national conversation centers around every question that they had,” said Lieutenant Colonel Troy Doyle.

Students are hoping for the best. “I hope change comes,” said Munger.

Police are hoping to have all St. Louis county officers wearing body cameras by the end of next year. They are also trying to increase minority hiring in 2015 with a goal of up to 20% department wide.

County Police told the students they will continue to meet with them on their other demands as well.

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