St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Monday filed what she called an unprecedented federal civil rights lawsuit, accusing the city, the local police union and others of a coordinated and racist conspiracy aimed at forcing her out of office.
Gardner, the city’s elected prosecutor, also accused “entrenched interests” of intentionally impeding her efforts to reform racist practices that have led to a loss of trust in the criminal justice system.
The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations as well as violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.
…The lawsuit cites a watchdog group’s report last year that identified several St. Louis officers accused of posting racist, violent or prejudiced messages on Facebook. Some of the posts highlighted by The Plain View Project included one in 2014 showing a black officer standing with two black demonstrators, calling the officer “Captain ‘Hug a Thug’” and “a disgrace to the uniform.” Another post in 2018 read: “If the Confederate flag is racist, then so is Black History Month.”