Kevin Killeen/KMOX

Ethical Society of Police Officers Responds to Police Chief Discrimination Suit

July 20, 2018 - 7:50 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Ethical Society of Police Officers that represents African American officers in St. Louis is reacting to the discrimination claim filed by former St. Louis interim police chief Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence O'Toole. 

O'Toole is alleging he did not get the permanent chief's position because he is white.   The city instead selected John Hayden, who is black.  

Reverend Darryl Gray, community liaison with the Ethical Society of Police, says they didn't believe O'Toole was the better candidate for the city, in part because of his handling of the Stockley verdict protests. 

“The heavy-handedness that resonated from the top, I think that bothered people. The unwillingness of the police chief to try to establish a line of communication with people who though that the Stockley verdict was wrong," he says.

Gray said O'Toole appeared more willing to want to appease the white police officer's union, instead of collaborating with the ethical society.

KMOX news asked if the ethical society felt the police chief should be black to which Gray responded, "no." Gray says they wanted a police chief who was going to be fair, govern with integrity and support community policing.