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Protesters gather at Missoula City Hall after officer-involved shooting

Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 09, 2020

MISSOULA — An officer-involved shooting that took place in Missoula over the weekend is stirring action in the community.

Monday evening, a group of protesters gathered in front of City Hall for the second night in a row, demanding transparency from the Missoula Police Department.

Some of the protesters said they don’t feel that enough details have been released on the shooting while others called for complete police reform.

The protest was quiet, but signs reading “end police brutality,” and “accountability now” garnered support from many driving by.

“I believe we’re all concerned because it’s our worst-case nightmare of what could happen,” said protester Laurel Hesse.

“You call, expecting some sort of protection or help or service, and to potentially have a loved one or a community member killed. I think we all just want to know a little more information about the incident.”

Another protester, Katie Kane, said she supports a full police reform.

The protest extended into Monday’s Missoula City Council meeting, where a handful of individuals called for action from the mayor and councilmembers.

Mayor John Engen cited legal obstacles as the city’s reason for withholding information about the incident.

The mayor also noted that the nature of the initial call to police wouldn’t have warranted a response from the city’s newly operating mobile crisis unit.

“Based on what I know, I am very comfortable with this investigation proceeding. I believe, tragically, the community is safer today than it was before the incident,” said Mayor Engen.

“All of that information will be forthcoming in due time, and I would ask people not to speculate or make inferences without having any information, or even the limited information we have provided," he added.

Missoula Police Department Chief Jaeson White will hold a press conference on Thursday to discuss the investigation protocols and any further details that can be released at this stage of the investigation.