Protests over killed Sedalia woman renewed after Missouri Highway Patrol finishes investigation

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SEDALIA, Mo. — Some people in Pettis County say they’ve grown weary awaiting answers.

The case involving a 25-year old woman who was killed during a June 13 police traffic stop is now in the hands of prosecutors. There is a renewed hope for protesters in Sedalia that charges will soon follow.

Hannah Fizer, 25, was killed after a deputy stopped her car. Records show the deputy stopped her for running a red light. During the brief exchange, Fizer was allegedly uncooperative and acted threatening toward the deputy, but she was unarmed when the officer fired his gun into her car.

On Friday, the Missouri Highway Patrol finished its investigation into the Pettis County Sheriff’s Department and how this situation was handled.

While hope rises, remorse and community resentment remain. People living in Sedalia have publicly protested at least six times since her death. On the Saturday morning, they marched in the streets again, demanding transparency from their sheriff’s department.

The Highway Patrol routinely investigates any transaction that involves police shooting someone during an attempted arrest.

“This community is very angry. This should have never happened,” Janet Uplinger, the protest organizer, said.

Uplinger is among several in attendance who stated their opinion that Fizer posed no real threat to the deputy. Fizer’s parents, Amy and John, complained the lack of information from police has been unsettling for them.

“The not knowing has been torturous,” Amy Fizer told FOX4 News. “So many people loved her, and they’ve shown up time after time after time. We love them.”

Many locals said they are glad the investigation has advanced to this point.

“She’s sitting in her car. How much of a threat could she have been? A verbal threat doesn’t mean to shoot somebody. It doesn’t make that OK or anything about it,” Uplinger said. 

St. Louis-based civil rights attorney Elad Gross, who is also running for the state’s attorney general post, said he learned of the protests when he recently drove past one of them. Gross said part of his platform involves cases like Fizer’s that, from his viewpoint, require more oversight for Missouri’s local police agencies.

“I think the family is just asking for answers to questions, right? They just want some transparency in this situation versus being left in the dark the entire time,” Gross said. “We should have that process in place so families are taken care of in these situations.”

The Pettis County Sheriff’s Department has refrained from commenting on this case. Findings from the Missouri Highway Patrol could be released as early as Sunday, from which, the prosecutor’s office would then be permitted to file charges.

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