USA

St. Louis’ chief prosecutor has sued the city, alleging a racist conspiracy meant to force her from office

Gardner, the city's elected prosecutor, accuses "entrenched interests in St. Louis" of attempting to block her efforts at redressing the city's historical inequality "through a broad campaign of collusive conduct," the complaint alleges. The lawsuit, filed Monday in a district court in Missouri, claims the defendants' actions violate the Ku Klux Klan Act as well as the Fourth and 14th Amendments.The Ku Klux Klan Act was adopted "to address precisely this scenario: a racially motivated conspiracy to deny the civil rights of racial minorities by obstructing a government official's efforts to ensure equal justice under law for all," the lawsuit states.Jacob Long, a spokesman for the St. Louis mayor's office, denied the allegations in a statement provided to CNN."The City Of St. Louis vehemently denies what it considers to be meritless allegations levied against it by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner," the statement says. "The City fully expects to be vindicated once this case is adjudicated in a court of law."The lawsuit alleges the city's police union "has gone out of its way to support white officers accused of perpetrating acts of violence and excessive force against African American citizens."The suit cites work by the Plain View Project, an independent watchdog that has compilied thousands of comments made by police officers on their public Facebook pages in eight cities, to support its argument.The group has determined that "a number of St. Louis officers had posted racist and offensive content on social media over a period of years," the complaint alleges.The Plain View Project's work led to 22 St. Louis Police officers being banned from bringing their cases to the prosecutor's office. Gardner's spokeswoman said 15 those officers would have their work reviewed by the prosecutor's office to determine whether they could have their ability to present cases reinstated, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in June. Two police officers were also fired over social media posts uncovered by the Project in December 2019, the officers' lawyer told CNN affiliate KMOV.

Police union: Lawsuit is 'the last act of a desperate woman'

The St. Louis Police union, in a statement, called the suit "frivolous, desperate and pathetic."The statement characterized the legal action as "the last act of a desperate woman." The union claims the lawsuit's primary goal is to distract from a deposition that Gardner has been ordered to provide as part of a special prosecutor's probe into alleged criminal conduct of an investigator Gardner utilized during her prosecution of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.Greitens, who resigned in June 2018 amid accusations of sexual misconduct, was indicted on two separate felony charges by Gardner's office. Greitens was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge stemming from the sexual misconduct allegations as well as a separate felony charge of computer tampering relating to his campaign's alleged procurement of a non-profit donor list without the charity's knowledge. CNN affiliate KMOV published a report in January 2018 in which a man said his now-former wife had an affair with Greitens in 2015. The report included details of a recording of a woman saying Greitens had tried tRead More – Source

cnn