Friday, May 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Police board upholds firing of two officers in Salva case

This afternoon the Board of Police Commissioners announced that the firing of two officers who ignored the pleas of a woman who later had a miscarriage was justified.

Police officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell had been fired by Chief Jim Corwin after it became public that the two ignored the woman who was asking for someone to call for an ambulance during a traffic stop in 2006.

Sophia Salva, who had been pulled over for using a fake temporary tag in her car, asked the officers while they were searching her to call for an ambulance and even said she was pregnant and bleeding despite showing no evidence of either during the stop.

Both Schnell and Spencer testified that they thought Salva was lying to get out of being taken to jail. Both Officers stated that Salva's prior record played a role in their decision. Salva was placed under arrest and taken to jail. Approximately 20 hours after the stop, Salva had a miscarriage.

The incident was not made public until Salva and her family sued the Kansas City Police Department nearly nine months later. After portions of the dash-cam video was made public, Corwin announced that the two officers were to be terminated for their actions.

Spencer and Schnell appealed his decision to the commission last month. According to documents released this afternoon by the commission, the decision to fire the officers will stand.