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Missouri police chief defends himself against abuse claim

July 1, 2021 GMT

NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis police chief is rejecting calls for his dismissal after a police report surfaced showing a woman in 2013 accused him of striking her and destroying her belongings.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Chief Mark Hall wrote in an email to the Normandy City Council that the attempt to remove him from office was an “attack on my character.”

Mayor Mark Beckmann argues that Hall must be removed because “there’s a lot of credibility” to the allegations. Beckmann said the claims weren’t fully examined before Hall was hired in December.

Hall was a St. Louis police officer in September 2013 when he was investigated after a woman reported he pushed, slapped and shoved her, urinated on her clothing and cut up her underwear during a dispute that spanned three days. No charges were filed.

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Hall declined to speak with the Post-Dispatch about the allegations, but said in his letter to the council that he disclosed the incident during the interview process.

Normandy Councilman Maurice Hunt, who was the interim mayor when the council voted to hire Hall, said city officials knew about the incident before the chief was hired.

“Because of a mistake he made years ago, they’re trying to punish him,” he said.

But Councilwoman Yolanda Campbell, who was not on the council when Hall was hired, wrote on Facebook she believed the police report should disqualify him from office.