Dirty Little Secrets

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department keeps a tight lid on internal affairs. Even if it means breaking the law.

Like Roth, Atkins W. Warren, who was in charge of the department's internal-affairs division from 1972 until 1980, recommended speaking directly with Mokwa. Warren left the department in 1980 to become chief of police in Gainesville, Florida, then moved on to the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service office in Kansas City. Since 2002 he has worked as a race-relations consultant. He knows about the Guyerdecision, but he says explaining the department's refusal to release records is a job for the chief.

"Let him know you talked to me -- we're friends," Warren suggests. "He's a real straight guy. He's the boss. Then you bypass the people in the middle who hinder what you're trying to obtain. He'll share with you what you're looking for. He'll give you the reasons why they can or can't do certain things."

Photoillustration by Tom Carlson, photography by J
Jason Cole lost a tooth in his encounter with St. Louis police. Witnesses to the incident say the teen wasn't resisting officers.
Jennifer Silverberg
Jason Cole lost a tooth in his encounter with St. Louis police. Witnesses to the incident say the teen wasn't resisting officers.

Mokwa did not return two phone calls requesting comment for this story.

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