Brentwood Police major facing lawsuit for strip search done in 2012

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.

9 thoughts on “Brentwood Police major facing lawsuit for strip search done in 2012

  1. Funny how this article is published right after the Mayor is called out on $21,000 he spent without the approval of ways and means committee! Maybe take the lime light off him???? Where’s that investigation? I think a former City Manager lost his job over misused funds!!!!

  2. This is concerning. I would hate for the taxpayers of Brentwood to be subject to higher insurance rates or another lawsuit if this officer has a history of unlawful behavior.

  3. Did you click on the link to read the entire RFT article? There are numerous issues, very concerning regarding this incident. They were initially pulled over for hanging a u-turn. The woman in the car admitted to having marijuana and turned it over to the officers, then she was stripped searched right there on the street? Is this common? And the woman apparently was not charged for having possession of the marijuana that she handed over to them.
    Detective Hawkins (now Major Hawkins of the Brentwood Police Dept.) admitted that she found no other drugs or contraband “inside Robinson’s vagina.” That admission tells me that, Yes- she did perform this strip search, so it’s not a matter of one word against the other.
    Then there are the inaccuracies that were revealed by an apparent surveillance camera that captured the search. And why would the officers claim in their incident report, that the woman declined to give a written statement of the occurrence, when in fact she did write-out a statement, which included a complaint about the manner she was searched?
    Also disturbing were Hawkins conflicting reasons for conducting this type of search. She initially claims she thought the woman had a concealed “weapon in her vagina” and it was required for officer safety. Really?? A weapon in her vagina?? She later claimed the reason was because the woman had marijuana in her possession and she had probable cause to search her for drugs, which as stated above, did not produce additional drugs or contraband. Officer Hawkins also admitted to violating dept policy by NOT obtaining a commanding officer’s approval to conduct a strip search.
    I personally know several people who use marijuana for numerous reasons. Non of them are criminals and I can’t imagine any of them being stripped searched in such a manner, after being pulled over for a traffic violation and then admitting to having marijuana and handing it over.
    I am very pro-police but the conduct of officer Hawkins is very disheartening. If she thought they had additional drugs on them why did she only strip search the woman in the car and not the male who was driving as well?????

  4. How could you prove that something like that happened, beyond a ‘shadow of a doubt’, when it is the word of one person against the word of another person? One of them would need to admit that they were lying, I guess.

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