Brentwood Police Major Angela Hawkins, hired by Brentwood Police Chief Joe Spiess in August 2018, is facing a lawsuit brought by a woman who says Hawkins, as a St. Louis city police detective in a 2012 strip search, “dragged her behind a trailer, shoved her hard enough to injure her shoulder and then, during the actual search, pulled down her underwear and touched the “inside” of Robinson’s labial lips,” the Riverfront Times reports.
A federal judge has denied requests to dismiss the lawsuit. The case will go to trial.
The woman, Kayla Robinson, and her lawyer says the invasive search was illegal and violated her Constitutional rights.
The RFT reports that Robinson initially filed her lawsuit in St. Louis Circuit Court in 2016, about a year after she learned that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs division had investigated her complaint against Hawkins, and concluded that the complaint’s allegations were “sustained.” It is not clear whether Robinson was ever punished.
Also from the Riverfront Times:
On October 19, 2012, Robinson was being driven home to Overland following a Cardinals game. On Goodfellow Avenue, the driver of the car pulled a U-turn — a move that detective Hawkins spotted. The detective would later report that she believed the car was trying to avoid a checkpoint farther down the road.
But after pulling over the car, Hawkins claimed she saw the driver furtively handing something to the 24-year-old Robinson. At that point, the stories of detective and suspect significantly diverge, and Hawkins’ version, as recorded in her official report of the incident, has some pretty big holes in it.
Inconsistencies in Hawkins’ reporting of the event led U.S. District Judge Patricia Cohen to note, “It is undisputed that the incident report contained numerous inaccuracies,” according to the Riverfront Times.