ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Monday filed what she called an unprecedented federal civil rights lawsuit, accusing the city, the local police union and others of a coordinated and racist conspiracy aimed at forcing her out of office.
Gardner, the city's elected prosecutor, also accused ``entrenched interests'' of intentionally impeding her efforts to reform racist practices that have led to a loss of trust in the criminal justice system.
The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations as well as violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. Gardner is black. The named defendants are white.
The lawsuit names the city of St. Louis, the St. Louis Police Officers Association, its business manager, Jeff Roorda, and Gerard Carmody, a special prosecutor who indicted an investigator hired by Gardner. It also names Carmody's son and daughter, who helped in his investigation, and a former police officer who sued over Gardner's use of private attorneys related to Carmody's investigation.