Nonprofit sues St. Louis County police over unlawful arrests
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A nonprofit law group is suing the St. Louis County Police Department, alleging that officers have unconstitutionally been arresting and holding people for 24 hours without first seeking arrest warrants.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that ArchCity Defenders filed the suit Wednesday. The group alleges that officers have been violating the Constitution by issuing statewide "wanteds" without obtaining a lawful arrest warrant and without presenting sworn statements to a judicial officer.
The suit seeks class-action status to represent anyone arrested in this manner in the past five years. The suit says that could be in the hundreds.
The countywide practice was criticized last year in a Department of Justice report, which quoted a longtime officer from Ferguson saying he would issue a wanted if there isn't enough probable cause for the arrest.