Officer Susie Lorthridge and Lieutenant Henrietta Arnold were St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) officers assigned to the eighth district. During the July 3, 2010 workday Officer Lorthridge drove Lieutenant Arnold home to pick up some medication. There, Arnold was surprised to discover her son's girlfriend, S.L., in his bedroom. She ordered S.L. out of the house and warned her, "[I]f somebody doesn't come and get you in five minutes, then I'm going to call your parents. And if they don't answer, then I'm going to take you to jail."
When S.L. was unable to find a ride home, Officer Lorthridge suggested to Lieutenant Arnold that they arrest her. Arnold initially expressed some concern, but Lorthridge assured her that an arrest would be lawful because S.L. had been trespassing. Lorthridge then handcuffed S.L., and the two officers took her to the police station. S.L. testified that during the ride to the station, Arnold called her a "white bitch" and stated she would like to "slit [S.L.'s] throat." S.L. also heard Arnold make a call on her cell phone, reporting that she and Lorthridge had "a problem, but when we get there, we'll talk to you about it." It seemed to S.L. that Arnold was talking to a superior officer. Since Lieutenant Arnold was the highest ranking officer in her own district at that time, S.L. later concluded that the call must have been made to Lieutenant Colonel Reggie Harris, the head of SLMPD's internal affairs unit.
Judge(s): Diana Murphy
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Constitutional Law , Employment , Government / Politics
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