Activists: Bellefontaine Neighbors refusing to end ticket quota -

Activists: Bellefontaine Neighbors refusing to end ticket quota program

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Activists told News 4 they walked out of a meeting between Bellefontaine Neighbors and the Department of Justice after city officials refused to end a ticket quota program.

The meeting was one of many off the record gatherings between Bellefontaine Neighbors officials, the DOJ, and community activists. After two hours of negotiations, activists walked out and refused to meet again.

“They're not willing to stop the predatory practice of stopping people and arresting people. That's unacceptable,” said Rev. Phillip Duvall.

State records indicate the number of traffic cases in Bellefontaine Neighbors increased by 130 percent over the past two years, the biggest increase in any of municipality in St. Louis County.

Critics blame a quota system that uses spreadsheets identifying a number of activities that are required of police officers, including arrests and traffic tickets. News 4 first learned of the system after former Bellefontaine Neighbors officer Joe St. Clair provided News 4 with documentation of the policy. St. Clair also said officers were reprimanded if they did not meet their quota.

Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Chief Robert Pruitt insisted the city does not have a quota, but defended city police. Activists said the city promised not to punish officers for failing to meet the quota. However, Pruitt said the department will continue to discipline officers who "do not reflect a commitment to meeting department expectations."

Duvall said a lawsuit may filed against Bellefontaine Neighbors.

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