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St. Louis Board of Aldermen hear testimony on city jails

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri claims to have new evidence further detailing alleged beatings, sexual abuse and cover-ups at city jails.

The group published an 18-month report last March. Redditt Hudson, the author of the report spoke before the St. Louis Board of Alderman's Public Safety Committee on Wednesday.

In the months since the initial report, Hudson says an additional 8 corrections officers have come forward to corroborate accounts of extensive human rights violations.

He says those officers now say steps are being taken to conceal evidence.

"Corrections officers have reported to us, the wholesale seizure of large volumes of reports and files from corrections officers at the medium security institute after our report was released," said Hudson.

Ward 1 Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe says its time to take the implications in this report seriously.

"I think we need special prosecutors to come in to number one, look at what the criminal activities were, number two to define sex between and inmate and a guard as rape, and three to define the destruction of evidence," said Troupe.

The city's public safety director, Charles Bryson, says complaints at the jails are investigated, but he needs more detailed information to pursue the allegations

Bryson will testify before the committee next week.

The ACLU is seeking a resolution from the board of alderman calling for the creation of an independent investigation panel.

A spokesman for the mayor's office downplayed the report as "rumor and innuendo.

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