A former police chief in the wealthy St. Louis suburb of Ladue charges in a lawsuit that city officials pressured him to pull over blacks and set ticket quotas for out-of-towners, then fired him in August when he refused, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The ex-chief, Larry White, alleges that Mayor Irene Holmes told him on several occasions that she wanted “those people” to be pulled from their cars so that others would see and avoid Ladue.
Census figures from 2000 say Ladue’s population was about 96 percent white and 1 percent black. The suit claims that Holmes and council members told White to avoid ticketing Ladue residents, including those who were caught driving drunk. City officials denied wrongdoing. In 2006, the year before White was hired, about 22 percent of traffic stops involved black drivers; African-Americans also made up nearly 44 percent of resulting arrests. Those numbers dropped when White took over.