ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A veteran St. Louis County Police Lieutenant has been fired for alleged racial profiling. The department confirms Lt. Patrick Hayes was terminated Monday. He's accused of making inappropriate comments that were racial in nature and of ordering patrol officers to arrest black people driving near South County Center Mall on Lindbergh in South County and Wal-Mart a few blocks away on Telegraph Road.
The allegations came to light after an officer on the force wrote an anonymous letter to St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch. Hayes was fired after an Internal Affairs investigation and a probe by the St. Louis County Chapter of NAACP. The Vice President of the civil rights organization, Reverend B.T. Rice said the NAACP spoke with officers on the force and with shoppers of South County Center Mall. "It was stunning. We thought that kind of thing was over back in the 40s and 50s. I guess racism raises its ugly head every now and then, but it’s important that we deal with it openly and deal with it precisely. I think that's what happened in this case."
Rice says the NAACP's investigation did not find any officers who followed Hayes' alleged order to target black people and adds the NAACP has asked the Federal Justice Department to investigate the allegations. Neither Hayes nor his attorney, Neil Bruntrager could be reached for comment.