St. Louis Cop Convicted of Civil Rights Violations

by TChris

St. Louis police officer Reginald Williams' career as a "renegade cop" has ended with federal convictions for civil rights violations arising out of a false arrest.

The arrest, during a traffic stop on July 5, 2002, turned frightening when Williams punched [Michael Banks]in the stomach, and later took him into a darkened room and threatened to "lock me up and throw away the key," Banks said.

After Williams pulled Banks over, he reached into Banks' pocket and found cash that Banks had just withdrawn from his credit union. Williams accused Banks of earning the money through drug sales. Williams reported that Banks had cocaine in the car, but the cocaine "mysteriously disappeared." So did Banks' cash, which wasn't mentioned in Williams' report.

Williams' conviction brings a bit of vindication for Banks, 54. "I lost so much that day that I will never be able to recoup," he said. In the wake of the arrest, he got fired, had to hire a lawyer and separated from his wife.

Williams isn't the only bad cop in the St. Louis police department.

One former officer, who testified against Williams, admitted repeatedly beating a handcuffed suspect, and asking two other officers to pull over a patrol car so he could take the suspect out and beat him some more.

St. Louis Alderman Terry Kennedy would like St. Louis to create a civilian review board to investigate allegations of police misconduct.

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    Civil rights violations? What about indictments for theft, assault and battery, kidnapping? The police and prosecutors will generally not go after their own. It falls on federal prosecutors to chase these thugs on civil rights violation charges. Those of us who are skeptical about police ethics, honesty, and procedures would probably feel more comfortable if the local systems went after the criminals in uniform at least occasionally. Patrick, read the article, please. This sounds like it goes deeper into the department than one rogue cop. I would appreciate hearing your take on it. I think you are an honest cop with an insider's view on this kind of stuff.

    I lived in st. louis for 20 years and there are some serious race problems in that entire area now that i have been gone for almost eight years i am aghast at how some of my former aquatances speak about "those black people"

    Kuros, I don't doubt what you say about race in St. Louis, but this was black on black crime, no sign of race issue that I could see, more just abuse of power which I think is a chronic problem for the police in the US. Patrick may be exceptional. The fact that he hangs here suggests as much and his posts are usually well thought-out. Patrick, can you read the article and give cop perspective, please?