Judge tosses lawsuit over St. Louis police ‘exclusion list’

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a St. Louis police union that sought to block names of the more than two dozen officers placed on an “exclusion list” by the city’s top prosecutor over credibility concerns.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer issued the ruling Wednesday after a state appeals court earlier in the day said the St. Louis Police Officers Association lawsuit was “patently insufficient.”

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner in August drew up a list of officers who won’t be permitted as primary witnesses in criminal cases. She hasn’t said specifically what prompted the list.

Gardner’s office has said the names were never intended for public distribution.

Union business manager Jeff Roorda says the union will re-file the petition.

Statement from St. Louis Police Officers Association:

“Today’s ruling does not invalidate the restraining order issued against Kim Gardner’s ill-conceived and illegal Exclusion List. The TRO against the police department releasing the list is still in place.

We believe the court’s order allows us to amend the petition now and bring the Circuit Attorney’s Office back under the restraining order, which we plan to file tomorrow. Even if we are not allowed to amend the petition, we can and will re-file it because the court dismissed without prejudice allowing us the right to re-file.

Remember, the reason that the court found insufficiencies in our petition was a result of the dark cloak of secrecy that Kim Gardner shrouded her list in when she issued it. Kim Gardner misrepresented the source and justification for the list which left our petition lacking some important details. Once Gardner’s misrepresentations surfaced, she blocked us from amending our petition.

The main point the Union wants to drive home is that Kim Gardner continues to think she’s not answerable to anyone and avails herself of every  technicality or loophole she can find to avoid accountability and transparency. If Kim Gardner has nothing to hide, she should just agree to answer for her actions or stop issuing lists without any legal justification.”

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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