Protesters held signs Thursday night in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia to show their support for a 25-year-old woman killed last weekend by a Pettis County deputy.
Hannah Fizer of Sedalia was shot to death after allegedly threatening to shoot the officer, but a gun was not found in her vehicle. Don Hockaday, a protest organizer, says he wants justice for Hannah.
Patrol Sgt. Andy Bell tells Missourinet Hannah Fizer was pulled over near Highway 50 for reportedly speeding and running red lights in Sedalia. Bell says Fizer’s vehicle was searched Monday and a gun was not found in her vehicle. He says the Sheriff’s Office does not have video of the shooting but the Patrol is reviewing whether any other video was taken in the area. The investigation continues.
An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday and Fizer’s funeral is set for Saturday. Friends of family of Fizer are planning a protest for this evening in downtown Sedalia.
The shooting has sparked some public outcry – leading to tension within the community. Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond has written an open letter to the citizens in the county. He also appeared on Missourinet affiliate KDRO to discuss the letter:
I need your help. We are in the midst of dealing with a tragic event in the death of Hannah Fizer, and my prayers go out to her family and friends. But the onslaught of shock, commercial media coverage, social media outcry, and raw emotion is beginning to devolve into a dangerous situation for our community.
Last night, the criminal element among us ramped up its efforts to begin its own version of “Social Justice.” One of my deputies, not involved whatsoever with the shooting or its investigation, has been singled out and targeted for harassment, stalking, and has been threatened with serious assault. His name and photograph is posted on social media, and calls for his child to be harmed are rampant. There are lies circulating about both him and Hannah with this. The truth does not matter to the instigators, and unsuspecting people are being sucked into the hatred. We are beginning to see people who are willing to resort to criminal behavior and taking advantage of this situation to turn it into social chaos.
It does not stop there. Deputies addresses are being circulated, there are calls for both me and the Chief of Police to resign or be thrown out of office, and last night I received an extortion email to release my name and home address on social media if I do not comply with unreasonable demands. Your Pettis County Prosecutor is also receiving pressure and threats from fringe elements to take actions based on people’s feelings, not the truth. Careless activities have been occurring around the Pettis County Courthouse complex and in the downtown Sedalia area. Do you want this to continue and cause irrevocable harm to our community?
Are you willing to allow Pettis County to become the test project for some Social Justice experiment for Rural America? I certainly hope not. Our nation is facing difficult times, and we are facing a difficult issue right here in our hometown. But it is important to remember that we must have faith in the American Way, and not allow this type of Social In-Justice to establish a stronghold here.
I am the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of this County. You have vested in me the authority to “quell and suppress assaults and batteries, riots, routs, affrays, and insurrections…” I will carry this out to the best of my ability and continue to do what I believe is in the best interest of our community. I will not tolerate criminal behavior nor allow your properties to be damaged.
I need every person’s help in doing this. I need you to think rationally and not just with emotion. We are all hurting and we need time to heal. I need you to stand with me and not tolerate unreasonable behavior. I need you to step up to support and defend the rule of law. And most of all, I need for us to communicate with each other and live together peaceably. We are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. Let’s keep it that way.
My door has and remains open to every one of you. Please do not allow a small but aggressive element that has reared its ugly head to take that from you.
– Sheriff Kevin C. Bond
An Open Letter to the Citizens of Pettis County from Sheriff Kevin Bond. Read online by CLICKING HERE.