PINE LAWN, MO (KTVI)– A group of Pine Lawn citizens claims that city leaders are violating their civil rights and they are taking their cases to a major organization for help.
The state branch of the NAACP laid out the cases with concerned citizens today in front of Pine Lawn city hall.
NAACP officials say they have received 20 complaints recently from Pine Lawn citizens.
They say the complaints allege that Pine Lawn police and the city building inspector have been conducting campaigns of harassment, police brutality, coercion, discrimination and other civil rights violations.
The complaints claim this has all been done at the direction of Pine Lawn mayor Sylvester Caldwell.
“These are just blatant out and out basic civil rights violations, basic discrimination, basic harassment and coercion. And when you get this many complaints and more complaints coming in it does warrant the NAACP to begin its investigation,” said Reverend Elston McCowan with the NAACP.
Lou Thimes, Jr., a spokesperson for the city of Pine Lawn, responded, “Pine Lawn is a zero tolerance community. That means that we strictly uphold our laws, we strictly uphold our ordinances, we strictly uphold our rules. These rules apply to everyone whether you`re a former mayor or you`re a former city official, no one is exempt.”
McCowan says the complaints have been forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice.