ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City’s top prosecutor placed 22 additional St. Louis police officers on her “exclusion list” on Tuesday.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said those officers can no longer come to her office to seek charges against suspected criminals. If they do, the charges will be refused.
Seven of the 22 permanently banned from the warrant office, she said. Criminal cases in which they’re listed as “essential witnesses” will be refused.
Fifteen of the 22 officers will be under review for possible reinstatement from the list.
The moves come after a national study called the “Plain View Project” revealed the officers shared violent, racist, or anti-Muslim Facebook posts between 2013 and 2017.
The three most “egregious” offenders had been taken off the streets and reassigned to desk duty, said St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. A police internal affairs investigation could still possibly result in termination.
That was all part of “due process,” said Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
However, Gardner’s exclusion list was meant to distract from her controversies, most notably this week’s arrest of her former private investigator in the Eric Greitens case, William Tisaby, on perjury and evidence tampering charges.
Nearly 60 officers on the close to 1,100-member police force have been placed on Gardner’s exclusion list. A number of them no longer work for the department, Edwards said.
The public safety director said he knew of no case refused solely because of an officer’s presence on the list. Nevertheless, the bias shown in the Facebook posts clearly makes the officers untrustworthy witnesses in court, according to Gardner.
“We have concluded that this bias would likely influence an officer’s ability to perform his or her duties in an unbiased manner,” she said in a statement.
She did not consent to an interview on Wednesday. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden also had no comment.