CLAYTON, Mo. -- An internal investigation is under way over concerns that a St. Louis County police lieutenant ordered officers to target and arrest blacks in a predominantly white area of the county.
Officer Randy Vaughn with the St. Louis County Police Department confirms Lt. Patrick Hayes is on unpaid leave pending outcome of the investigation.
Vaughn said the investigation began with an anonymous letter dated Dec. 24 from a county officer. He said the letter alleged that the lieutenant ordered officers under his command to focus on arresting blacks in the area of South County Center and a Wal-Mart store in south St. Louis County.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he hopes to have the inquiry complete by the next police board meeting on Feb. 20.
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.
News 4 was planning on talking to Fitch about the allegations later Thursday. We’ll be sure to update the story on KMOV.com and News 4 at 5 p.m. with the latest information.