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Chief Recommends Firing Two Officers Over Mistreatment of Pregnant Woman

By Sylvia Maria Gross


Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Missouri's Police Chief fired a jail employee yesterday and recommended terminating two officers who mistreated a pregnant woman during an arrest last year. The Board of Police Commissioners will make a final decision on the officers in a hearing scheduled for next Tuesday. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.


Officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Shnell stopped Sofia Salva last year after watching her tape a fake license plate to the back of her car . Salva repeatedly told them she was four months pregnant and bleeding, and needed to go to the hospital. Instead, the officers jailed Salva overnight for several outstanding city warrants. She went to the hospital the next morning, and had a miscarriage. Last month, Salva filed a lawsuit against the department, and police released a videotape of the arrest that was broadcast nationwide. Soon after, officers Spencer and Shnell were suspended with pay they're now on an unpaid suspension until the police board's hearings.

Police Chief Jim Corwin says the two officers and jail worker Norman Johnson violated department policy by not providing medical treatment. A fourth jail employee was just reprimanded because he was still in training at the time. Lawyers for the two officers say they're disappointed in the police chief's decision. Salva's attorney says the lawsuit is going ahead as planned.

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