CLAYTON, Mo.—The Missouri NAACP is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to take over the investigation of a St. Louis County police supervisor and whether he ordered officers to engage in racial profiling.
Adolphus Pruitt of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sent a letter last week requesting the federal investigation.
St. Louis County police Lt. Patrick Hayes is accused of ordering officers to target and arrest blacks in and around South County Center and a Wal-Mart store in south St. Louis County.
An internal investigation began after the accusations were made in an anonymous letter dated Dec. 24 from a county officer, according to Officer Randy Vaughn.
Hayes has denied the claim and is on paid administrative leave.
County Police Chief Tim Fitch says he welcomes any federal investigation and will assist those involved in it.
According to Hayes’ bio, he has been with the St. Louis County Police Department since 1993. He is a watch commander in the South County precinct.