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The Latest: Police deny existence of traffic stop records

November 14, 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit for St. Louis police traffic stops records (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

The St. Louis city attorney says police deny the existence of traffic stop records that an activist is seeking.

A MacArthur Justice Center lawyer filed a lawsuit against the city in hopes of getting a judge to force the police department to turn over the documents.

But St. Louis City Counselor Julian Bush on Thursday told The Associated Press that police say those documents don’t exist.

Police accountability advocate Phillip Weeks wants the documents to see whether certain officers have a history of racial profiling. He filed an open-records request for information in July.

Weeks’ lawsuit alleges that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has argued it doesn’t have the data, which is stored by an information technology services company.

MacArthur lawyer Amy Breihan says police are trying to avoid public accountability by denying the open-records request.

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11 a.m.

A St. Louis activist is suing the city for records on police stops.

A MacArthur Justice Center lawyer filed the lawsuit Wednesday in hopes of getting a judge to force the police department to turn over the documents.

Activist Phillip Weeks wants to use the records to see whether certain officers have a history of pulling over black drivers at a disproportionately high rate.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has argued it doesn’t have the data, which is stored by a St. Louis IT company. The company told Weeks it can’t release the information without permission from St. Louis police.

MacArthur lawyer Amy Breihan says the agency is trying to avoid public accountability by denying Weeks’ open-records request.

The city attorney did not immediately comment Thursday on the lawsuit.