The federal authorities have launched an investigation against police in St. Louis on suspicion of violating civil rights at recent protests in the central United States of Missouri.
The existence of this federal inquiry, which originates from multiple reports of questionable acts, was revealed Monday by the US Department of Justice. City Mayor Lyda Krewson praised the opportunity to get an independent review of the situation.
The federal police (FBI) and the federal prosecutor’s office look into “charges of possible violations of civil rights by law enforcement officers in the Saint-Louis region,” said the federal prosecutor of this area Jeffrey Jensen said the investigation focused on police action during protests that began on September 15 and lasted several weeks.
The rallies were sparked by the acquittal of former white police officer Jason Stockley, who was tried for shooting Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old black man, in 2011.
Days after the protests began, the police were accused of using excessive force against protesters, including arresting pedestrians and journalists and using tear gas for no good reason.
The two officials had called for a federal inquiry into the methods of the city police.
A federal judge last week ordered the police to change its procedures, including avoiding the use of chemicals against peaceful demonstrators who do not threaten to break the law.
He also ordered him to “arbitrarily” stop calling peaceful demonstrations illegal, triggering arrests.
Decisions taken in the course of lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of several protesters.
“While it is important for the federal government to investigate the systemic violation of civil rights, the city of Saint-Louis should now pro-actively engage with the community to create a collaborative model of law enforcement,” he said. the ACLU in a statement.