St. Louis County Police Board votes for independent review of police department

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CLAYTON, Mo. – The St. Louis County Police Board voted unanimously Tuesday to seek an independent review of the St. Louis County Police Department.

The vote comes less than a week after a St. Louis County jury handed down a $19 million verdict against the department. Sgt. Keith Wildhaber sued the department contending he was passed over for multiple promotion opportunities because he is gay. The trial also raised questions of whether police commanders committed perjury.

“Serious change is needed to promote equity and inclusion in county government and throughout St. Louis County,” said St. Louis County Executive Sam Page during a prepared statement he read during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Following the meeting, Page said he expected the council to support any cost associated with an independent review.

Through a statement, the St. Louis County Police Board said it would expect a review to be completed within 90 of hiring an independent entity. The board indicated a review would include examining the department’s policies and procedures, the decision making and promotional processes, and including within the department.

“It’s sad but true that in 2019 we’re still talking about these issues,” Page said. “Whether or not to treat people fairly regardless of gender, race, or gender identity really isn’t something that we should ponder. The answer is definitely yes.”

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