Cairo Police Officers Suspended - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cairo, IL

Cairo Police Officers Suspended

Cairo Police Officers Suspended
By: Wes Wallace

Cairo, IL - A suspicious death investigation involving a man who hanged himself in a Cairo Police Department holding cell takes another turn.

That's as city leaders suspend five workers with the police force.

The announcement came late Monday afternoon at a news conference.

"This manual follows national standard, of many other departments and cities across the country," says Mayor Paul Farris, pointing to a three ring binder, "This is our police and procedure manual for the City of Cairo. I came up with the idea when I took office several years ago."

However, Farris says there was a substantial breach of that policy, involving three police officers and two dispatchers.

The mayor wouldn't elaborate, but he did explain the suspensions of the workers stem from the investigation into the death of Demetrius Flowers.

In the city manual, there's a section on how to properly handle a suspect or detainee in custody, including instructions to remove certain items such as belts or shoelaces.

Last week, Cairo officers found Demetrius Flowers dead in a holding cell., hanged with his shoelaces.

With the five person suspension, Farris says the police department will try to work out the staffing shortage, "The chief has several part time officers and part time dispatchers, and we'll rely on the help of several other law enforcement agencies."

"I think the suspensions are appropriate, whatever is necessary to figure out why my brother died," says LaWanda Davis, a sister to Flowers.

The five police department workers will be suspended without pay until January 31, 2006.

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