St. Louis Cop Publicly Violates Woman While Searching for Nonexistent Drugs

The St. Louis Police Department was recently named in a new federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Kayla Robinson, a 24-year-old local black resident. Robinson asserts that she was the target of a highly invasive, illegal search.

This wasn’t any normal stop-and-search – Robinson’s suit states that a SLPD officer searched her vagina in public while a fellow male officer looked on.

As shocking as this might sound, it is but one example of how police use force and humiliation to intimidate and control people of color.

After a Cardinals game in 2012, a vehicle in which Robinson was riding as a passenger was stopped by police. Detective Angela Hawkins made this decision after witnessing the car perform a U-turn, assuming that they may have been trying to avoid a checkpoint down the street.

Hawkins claims she witnessed Robinson try to cover what looked like a rock of crack cocaine with her foot while stuffing a bag of marijuana into her pants. Though crack was not discovered, Robinson’s suit admits that before being searched she had surrendered a bag of marijuana.

Unconvinced that Robinson had given up everything, Hawkins insisted on performing a vaginal search. Handcuffed, Robinson was taken from the vehicle to a nearby parking lot. There she waited with Hawkins who had radioed in a request for rubber gloves.

After a male officer arrived on the scene with the gloves, according to the lawsuit, Robinson “was crying hysterically and begging Defendant Hawkins to take her to jail and search her there.” Disregarding her request, the unlawful search was conducted with the male officer looking on.

The lawsuit goes on to say that after no drugs were found, “Hawkins fastened [Robinson’s] pants and slammed her with excessive force” into a parked vehicle, injuring her arm.

Though she was arrested at the time, no criminal charges were leveled against Robinson.

Understandably upset over her abusive treatment, Robinson filed a formal complaint. Though the St. Louis Police Department’s internal affairs claims it sent her a letter about the matter, Robinson’s lawsuit asserts that this did not happen.

It wasn’t until 2015, three years after the incident, that Robinson finally heard anything; after contacting internal affairs yet again, she received a wholly unsatisfying response. The letter she sent merely recited Robinson’s grievance while saying that Hawkins was, in some undefined way, “disciplined.” However, there is little doubt that she is still serving on the force.

Let us put aside the fact that, yes, Robinson was in possession of an illegal substance (and also putting aside debate over the logic behind its prohibition).

Did this merit what was essentially digital rape? If Det. Hawkins believed such an invasive search was truly warranted, why did she not take Robinson to jail before performing it? She went so far as to request rubber gloves and wait for them – might it not be reasonable to suggest it would have taken roughly the same length of time and effort to take Robinson to jail instead?

From these actions one might infer that Hawkins was quite aware that what she was doing was, to put it mildly, highly inappropriate.

It is not enough for Hawkins to have merely been “disciplined.” Not only did she violate Robinson’s constitutional right to a lawful search, in doing so she committed sexual assault. Almost as troubling is the fact that two other officers, as named in the federal suit, were involved and apparently found nothing amiss about what transpired.

Det. Angela Hawkins has no right to wear the uniform of those who are sworn to protect and serve. Stand with Kayla Robinson and tell the city of St. Louis and the St. Louis Police Department to remove her from the force by sharing and adding your name to our petition!

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Photo Credit: Darrin Klimek / Thinkstock

72 comments

Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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sheena a
sheena a9 months ago

:( signed

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Melania P
Melania P9 months ago

Bastard! And they call themselves civilized?? Yiac! Petition signed and shared

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Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O9 months ago

Horrific! I'm just speechless... But I signed.

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Freya H
Freya H9 months ago

This article makes it clear that Kayla Robinson was more sinned against than sinning. Yes, she shouldn't have had illegal substances on her - but that cavity search, especially Up There, should have been done in private. Any officer who would do such a thing to any woman has no business wearing the badge. Those jerks hurt good cops by giving the entire profession a rotten image.

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Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Nang Hai C
Nang Hai C9 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers9 months ago

America is a police state. At least three crimes here. It's a hate crime, terrorism, and rape.

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Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L9 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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