Earlier this week, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, a graduate of Harris-Stowe State University filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city of St. Louis, police union and others of a racist conspiracy to remove her from her office.
Let’s take a look at the both, the specifications of the lawsuit and the events that led Attorney Gardner to this point.
In the lawsuit filed on Monday, Gardner alleges:
Violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and
other civil rights violations
Black people are underrepresented in the police
department, especially in managerial and upper level roles
The St. Louis Police Officer’s Association makes
deliberate attempts to support and endorse officers who are accused of
inordinate force against African Americans
The St. Louis Police Department
“unreasonably delayed any potential investigation” into threatening
and reported letters sent to Garder’s office “even thought at least one of
the letters had a name and return address on it.”
The city of St. Louis, the St. Louis Police
Officers Association, its business manager Jeff Roorda are defendants in
addition to retired police officer Charles Lane who filed a civil suit against
Gardner over her office hiring outside law firms during the special prosecutors
grand jury investigation; Special Prosecutor Gerard Carmody and his son’s Ryann
and Patrick Carmody are also defendants, his son’s played a part in the special
prosecutors investigation into the behavior of Garner’s office during the trial
of Governor Eric Greitens.
The special prosecutor’s investigation into her office
is efforts of the city conspiring and is completely unsubstantiated. It also
claims that Carmody and a lawyer who represented former Governor Greitens are
“lifelong friends going back to their days in the same class of 1967 and
playing on the same sports teams at Chaminade.”
Gardner proposed independent investigations of
officer-involved shootings but the police union was against it, causing the
board of alderman to deny Gardner’s recommendation
There were consistent head bumps made between
the special prosecutor and her office for “overly vague” search
In response to the lawsuit:
Read the full statement released by the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association:
Timeline of Events
Attorney Gardner’s lawsuit did form itself overnight. Let’s take a look at the series of unfortunate events that led to this point. We’ll need to flashback nearly two years ago, February 2018.
Gardner’s office indicted then-Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, accusing him of invasion of privacy, tied to a 2015 affair. Her office later dropped the charge one day after Greitens’ announcement stating that he was resigning.
Attorney Gardner no longer accepted criminal cases from 28 policy officers in the city because she said they had issues with their credibility. She began reviewing open cases for viability.
Gardner settled a $63,009 fine issued because the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) determined her election committee committed seven campaign finance violations. Public file here.
Violations include exceeding cash contribution limits and failure to record finance reports of the campaign in a timely and accurate manner. The MEC believes it found evidence to support the fact that Gardner’s campaign failed to file 255 expenditures equaling approximately $90,000.00 and almost 100 monetary gifts or donations that add up to more that $305,000.00! Gardner’s office issued the following press release.
The former FBI agent Attorney Gardner hired to investigate former Governor Greitens named William Don Tisaby was charged with 7 felonies. The alleged felonies include perjury and tampering with evidence.
Tisaby was unsurprisingly charged with (1) intentionally concealing information and documents away from Greitens’ team, (2) lying about he and Attorney Gardner coordinated to share information and collaborate before and after interviews with Greitens’ mistress.
A retired Judge named Michael Bradley was named as the special prosecutor to investigate the public officer tampering allegations against the lawyers who represented Greitens in 2018, while being investigated for invasion of privacy.
Though Greitens lawyers deny, KSDK reports Gardner “told The Associated Press in a 2018 interview that several of Greitens’ lawyers came to her office in March 2018 to try to persuade her to drop the case.”
A case from Attorney Gardner’s office against two police officers (William Olsten and Joe Schmitt) was thrown out by St. Louis Circuit Judge Beth Hogan. Gardner’s office charged the officers with felony assault after a shooting at Bomber O’Brien’s bar in south St. Louis. Hogan reprimanded Gardner’s office for withholding evidence from the police’ attorneys. DETAILS:
The first grand jury declined to indict the officers and when the second grand jury indicted the men, Judge Hogan noticed the grand jury was not privy to the fact that the victim made a deal with prosecutors to testify against the officers and they were not showed the surveillance video of the shooting.
Chief Trial Assistant for Gardner, Rachel Smith resigns after 19 years and after being the fourth prosecutor to assume the role since January 2017 when Gardner assumed her office.
Under Gardner’s tenure, 65 attorneys have been fired or resigned.
This Harris-Stowe State University graduate is definitely shaking things up!