BULLET St. Louis City Resolution Number 174
December 6, 2013
Resolutions adopted during the 2013 session by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen have been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Ordinances may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.

WHEREAS, on October 26, 2013, an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outlined serious concerns related to the wrongful arrests of up to one hundred St. Louis citizens due to "clerical mistakes, and sloppy" attention to fingerprint reports; and

WHEREAS, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article and lawsuits filed by alleged victims, these fingerprint reports provided information that the citizen arrested was the wrong person; and

WHEREAS, in response to The Post-Dispatch's claims of identifying 100 people arrested in error over the past seven years, who have collectively spent more than 2,000 days in jail, Eddie Roth, a senior aide to Mayor Francis Slay, is quoted in the article saying, "I worry about a lot of things. I don't worry about this." ; and

WHEREAS, officials have stated it is the fault of the individuals wrongfully arrested because, if their name had not been in a criminal justice database, the mistake could not have been made.

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the City of St. Louis and its law enforcement officials to preserve the civil liberties of all citizens, regardless of past infractions; and

WHEREAS, there are numerous concerns raised by these wrongful arrests, as reported. These concerns include: failure to verify the identity of the people arrested; potentially ignoring protests of citizens wrongfully arrested; failure to differentiate between the people who gave false names and the people whose names were being falsely used as aliases; downplaying cases where systematic failure caused wrongful arrests of St. Louis citizens; and failure to correct errors in records which caused repeated wrongful arrests, leaving authorities unsure of who they were holding or who committed which past crimes; and

WHEREAS, city officials have questioned the accuracy of the newspaper's overall information; and

WHEREAS, wrongful arrests have negative consequences on the lives of the citizens wrongfully arrested and erodes the faith of citizens in our judicial system; and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of St. Louis Board of Aldermen to work to assure that all of our constituents have confidence that their liberties and safety are justly protected.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Alderman for the City of St. Louis that we direct the Public Safety Committee to convene hearings for the purpose of examining and investigating the events, conditions, circumstances and failures that lead to the wrongful arrests of citizens of the City of St. Louis.

Introduced on the 6th day of December, 2013 by:

Honorable Antonio D. French Alderman 21st Ward

Adopted this the 6th day of December, 2013 as attested by: 

David W. Sweeney
Clerk, Board of Aldermen

Lewis E. Reed
President, Board of Aldermen

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