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Thu February 1, 2007
Officers Suspended for Mistreatment of Pregnant Woman
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Missouri's police chief suspended two officers yesterday while the department investigates the traffic stop and overnight jailing of a pregnant woman last year. A videotape released on Tuesday shows the two officers repeatedly ignoring the woman's pleas that she was bleeding and needed to go the hospital. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.
Sofia Salva was three months pregnant when she was jailed overnight for traffic violations and outstanding city warrants last February. She says she went to the hospital in the morning and delivered a baby boy, who died immediately. Salva's lawyer says the police department has been aware of the incident for months, and a lawsuit was filed Friday. Police Chief Jim Corwin says he released the videotape this week to maintain transparency and the community's trust.
CORWIN: This police department is the people's police department, and it's important for them to see everything, even these things.
Corwin says the officer's actions in the video were not consistent with the department's values, policies or training. Officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell have been suspended with pay, and others who came into contact with Salva that night will be included in the investigation.