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Racial justice police group condemns St. Louis County chief

April 10, 2021 GMT

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — The Ethical Society of Police said Friday it had no confidence in St. Louis County Police Chief Mary Barton, in part because a Black officer was reassigned shortly after speaking to the media.

The group, which advocates for racial and gender equity in the St. Louis and St. Louis County police departments, also said during a news conference Barton had not taken action to reduce racism in the department.

“Chief Barton’s long-standing pattern of delayed responses to our requests and her ineffective actions on the tough issue of systemic racism leaves us without confidence in her ability to lead the St. Louis County Police Department,” the board said in a statement.

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ESOP leaders said Officer Shanette Hall, who is Black, was transferred from human resources to a patrol assignment within 24 hours of giving an interview to Vice News. Hall also was featured in a Washington Post story last month about being a Black police officer.

The St. Louis County police department said in a statement that 388 commissioned personnel were transferred or reassigned last year to meet the needs of the department.

The St. Louis County Police Association said Friday that it “shares many of the substantial concerns raised by ESOP.”