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Pine Bluff police feel heat over handling of cold cases

PINE BLUFF - A proposal to allow the City Council to dictate police procedure in handling cold cases failed Monday night, although aldermen requested police to provide weekly updates in how officers are handling the disappearance of Cleashindra Hall.

Hall has been missing since 1994 after she was reportedly last seen outside the Pine Bluff home of Dr. Larry Amos.

Two Aldermen, Steven Mays and Thelma Walker, are aggressively putting pressure on Chief Brenda Davis-Jones after her police department admitted it sat on new evidence in the Hall case for 40 days.

"The main objective is to give the families closure and keeping communication with them," said Mays.

The council voted against a proposal that would force PBPD to assign two detectives to all cold cases. With Hall's mother in attendance, they told Chief Davis-Jones to provide weekly updates on the case.

"The more they see me the more they can't ignore me and my daughter's case," said Hall.

Her last meeting with the chief was May 11. It didn't last long however, as she says the chief was being insensitive so it ended in a walkout.

"We left that meeting," she said. "We got up and left."

Meanwhile, police say the evidence delay dilemma does not reflect their department overall. Chief Davis-Jones told the council a cold case unit has been investigating cases for six months.

"Our evidentiary procedures are all intact," said Captain Greg Shapiro. "There has been no compromise to any evidence in any investigation"

For Hall, she says this latest promise is one she hopes police can keep, for the sake of many victimized families.

"Not just for my child but for anybody's child that's missing or had a family involved in a homicide and they don't have closure," said Hall.

Police were not certain Monday night exactly how many cold cases are on file.

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