Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ACLU: Documents Show St. Louis Officers Who Misued '06 World Series Tickets Committed Crimes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ACLU: Documents Show St. Louis Officers Who Misued '06 World Series Tickets Committed Crimes

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * New records about St. Louis police officers' personal use of 2006 World Series tickets seized from scalpers indicate that crimes were committed and information was kept from prosecutors but that top brass was not implicated, the ACLU said Thursday.

The full file has not yet been made public, although the American Civil Liberties Union copied and released some summary documents. Court officials expected to make the rest public Friday.

A lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, a union that fought for years to keep the records secret, disputed the ACLU's interpretation.

Police were targeting scalpers who violated an ordinance by reselling tickets on the street when the Cardinals went about beating the Detroit Tigers nine years ago. A complaint from a scalper whose tickets were confiscated started an internal investigation that found some officers had used some. There was internal discipline but no prosecution.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit for the records in 2007 that finally reaches conclusion with release of these documents.

ACLU lawyer Anthony Rothert said he spent about 90 minutes reviewing the files Thursday afternoon but was still awaiting copies of everything.

"When you read them, it is clear that crimes were committed and tickets were taken and used rather than taken to the evidence locker," Rothert said, and "that officers other than the people who committed the crimes knew about it and gave sworn statements to internal affairs about what happened."

Rothert said there was some indication that the practice was widespread and "not just in this World Series."

He also said the documents he reviewed had not been provided to St. Louis prosecutors, who had opted not to file charges, based on what they knew.

Rothert also complained that internal investigations were "divided in a way that leads to the covering up of crimes committed by police officers."

Neil Bruntrager, general counsel for the officers association, called Rothert's conclusions "preposterous" and "unsupported" and "irresponsible." He sputtered, "You can't say things like that without proof."

Bruntrager said he was not aware of officers' misusing tickets except during the 2006 Series. He said that in 30 years of defending police accused of misconduct, he had never seen evidence of a departmental cover-up.

He said that "Garrity statements" were not supposed to go to prosecutors. Under Garrity, named for a court decision, officers risk losing their jobs if they refuse to answer questions, even under the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. So Garrity admissions can be used only for internal discipline, and an examination of criminal conduct requires a separate investigation.

Bruntrager said that all the records demonstrated was "incompetence in the investigation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.