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Green Party Asks for Investigation
of May 16 Police Abuse
On June 20, a month after the illegal search of its office, the Green Party of St. Louis presented the Board of Aldermen with the following request for a serious inquiry into the police actions of May 16–18, 2003.
Request for Action by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen
Concerning Police Behavior of May 16
On May 16–18, 2003 officers of the St. Louis Police Department took actions which had the effect of suppressing political dissent against the biotechnology industry. They exceeded their legal authority, departed from Department procedure and regulation by not wearing their name badges and violated the First and Fourth Amendment rights: that is, the rights of free speech, free assembly and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure of peaceful activists at 3309 Illinois, 3022–26 Cherokee, several bicyclists near Grand and Arsenal and a motorist who was taken to jail for not wearing a seatbelt. Multiple announcements by Police Chief Mokwa diverted public attention from discussing links between environmental racism and genetic engineering to focusing on unsubstantiated rumors concerning a demonstration planned for May 18.
We request that the St. Louis Board of Aldermen take the following actions:
1. Recommend that the City Attorney drop all pending charges of city ordinance violations against the 27 victims and that the Building Inspector immediately remove the condemnation of 3309 Illinois;
2. Recommend reimbursement of the value of property retained, lost or destroyed which belonged to those arrested at 3309 Illinois, at 3022-26 Cherokee and those riding bicycles;
3. Apologize to the 27 victims on behalf of the City of St. Louis;
4. Conduct an inquiry into police actions which would include:
- An investigation of the use of the Police Department’s acting on behalf of interests of the World Agricultural Forum by collaborating with its private police, Allied Intelligence;
- An investigation of the misuse of the Building Inspectors office to gain entry to 3309 Illinois and 3022-36 Cherokee without a search warrant as required by the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution and an investigation of the subsequent search and seizure (for which a search warrant is required);
- An investigation of the misuse of the Building Inspector’s authority to gain unwarranted entry to 3309 Illinois by posting a “condemned” sign on the door immediately prior to arresting its residents for inhabiting a condemned building;
- An investigation into the attempt to intimidate a political party (the Green Party) by police use of Building Inspectors to enter and search its office;
- An investigation of the alleged disgusting and vile actions of police officers who raided 3309 Illinois, including urinating upon and intentionally damaging private belongings;
- An investigation of comments made by officers on a police computer “chat room” which included comments indicating their intent to do sadistic bodily harm to demonstrators on May 18;
- An investigation of Police Officers who removed their names and badge numbers during May 16–18 events;
- A full audit of property (such as huge puppets intended for political expression on May 18) seized or destroyed at the locations raided on May 16 with the intent or consequence of suppression of political ideas;
- A full audit of all costs involved with police actions of May 15–19, including salary costs reported as “compensation time granted,” and inclusive of costs to government and private businesses which boarded up buildings due to police-generated hysteria;
- An analysis of crime rates in other parts of St. Louis May 15–19 to determine if citizens experienced heightened criminal victimization due to diversion of police resources;
5. If the inquiry finds that Police Chief Mokwa was negligent, incompetent, or intended to violate rights protected by the US Constitution, then recommend specific disciplinary action to the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners.
6. Pass Board Bill 47 in order to establish a Civilian Oversight Board for the St. Louis Police Department which has subpoena power, independence and some elected members.
[13 sep 03]