Tuesday, April 21, 2015

City Council Discusses Adding Cateria Stokes to Homicide Reward List

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Cateria Stokes, the 15-year-old girl who was killed during a drive-by shooting at her house on April 10th, may be the next name added to the city's reward list for information on homicide suspects.
click to enlarge Cateria Stokes
  • Cateria Stokes
The Memphis City Council's Public Safety Committee discussed adding Stokes' name to the list in their meeting Tuesday morning, and the resolution will be voted on in the full council meeting Tuesday night. If passed, tipsters with information on Stokes' killer, who remains unknown at this time, could be given a $100,000 reward.

Other names on the city's homicide reward list include former Memphis Grizzly Lorenzen Wright, Larry Joseph Larkin, Joey Lacy, Cora Gatewood, Calvin Riley, Napoleon Yates, Marco Antonio Calero, Jack Lassiter, and Deryck DeShaun Davenport.

The Public Safety Committee also heard the monthly rape kit update. A member of the rape kit task force told council members that the construction storage room for DNA evidence was moving along and "seeing lots of progress." As of March, there were 5,246 rape kits that remained untested. That's down from 5,246 untested in February.

Council members also discussed an ordinance to give the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) more teeth, including the power to subpoena officers and information. The CLERB, which is currently inactive, is designed to provide oversight for citizen complaints against police wrongdoing. Both Director Toney Armstrong and Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams took issue with the idea giving the board subpoena power, claiming that it could impact the officers' Fifth Amendment rights.

But City Council member Shea Flinn, who once served on an earlier incarnation of the CLERB, urged the council to take action soon and give the CLERB more power.

"All politics aside, this board is about when things don't go right. And the reason this board wasn't taken seriously by the city council [in its past incarnation] is because the board wasn't serious. It had no power," Flinn said. "And in these economic times, when we're paying staff [to serve on the board], we cannot do nothing."

Flinn said a CLERB with more power could help build trust between citizens and law enforcement. The CLERB amendment will be heard in its first reading at Tuesday night's council meeting.

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