Candidate alleges discrimination during St. Louis Police Chief selection process

ST. LOUIS, MO — The man who served as interim St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief in 2017 has filed a racial discrimination complaint. Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole, a white officer, was a finalist for the position of police chief. John Hayden, a black officer, was selected for the position.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that O’Toole filed the complaint on June 22 with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. St. Louis City officials received the complaint on July 10, 2018.

O’Toole was named as interim chief after Sam Dotson abruptly retired during the Mayor Krewson’s first day in office. He served for about 9 months. Protests broke out after Jason Stockley was acquitted in September. He was criticized for the department’s use of kettling for crowd control.

Hayden was the commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s north patrol for two years before being chosen to lead. In January FOX 2’s Elliott Davis asked Chief Hayden about whether the selection test was fair. Protestors at an open forum shouted down O’Toole who could barely make his presentation. Hayden says O’Toole did get treated unfairly but he adds there was no reason to throw out the test and start over