St. George

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St. George is a city in St. Louis County. The population was 1,288 at the 2000 census.

History

In 1948, families in two subdivisions wanted their children bussed to school. The Bayless School District would not send buses. The two subdivisions incorporated as St. George that year, in order to join the Affton School District, which was willing to send buses for the neighborhood kids.

Police Department

St. George has just under 1,300 people, but its police wrote about 3,000 tickets there in 2005.[1] The small city is known as a "speed trap" to local drivers. St. George police are known to constantly patrol Reavis Barracks Road, and has been criticized for doing so to an excessive degree, with little benefit to the community.

Controversies

1981 Police Chief Arrested for Bombing

Chief Milton Russell Schepp was accused of working with the "Syrian underworld" to plant a bomb in the car of mobster Paul J. Leisure. Leisure survived the blast, and Schepp went to prison.[2]

2000 Investigation of Police Chief

In 2000, Police Chief Scott Uhrig was investigated for propositioning 17-year-old Chrystal Cole for sex during a traffic stop in 2000, when he was an officer in Arnold. An administrative commission upheld the accusation. Cole brought a civil rights lawsuit against Uhrig and the City of Arnold. The case went to mediation; the disposition was not made public.[3]

2007 Harassment of Brett Darrow

<youtube v="3f9mj37SeMY" />

In September 2007, Brett Darrow, a St. Louis resident, posted an online video (at right, click to play) of an encounter with St. George police Sgt. James Kuehnlein. In the video, Kuehnlein approaches Darrow while he waits in a parked car in a commuter parking lot. When Darrow asks Kuehnlein whether he did anything wrong, the officer orders Darrow out of the car and threatens to fabricate charges and arrest him.

Darrow told the news media that he pulled into the commuter lot to meet a friend. When the officer asked him for identification, Darrow said he didn't immediately present it because he believes the officer stopped him without probable cause. After the video gained popularity on the Internet (with nearly 3600 "digs" on Digg.com[4]), Kuehnlein was suspended without pay. In response, St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig said, "I was very displeased when I saw the actions on the video."[5]

Kuehnlein himself pleaded guilty of assault and stealing in two different cases, in 1988 and 1990. He successfully petitioned a judge in St. Louis County in 1998 to expunge his criminal record, which was making it hard for him to get work as a cop. The judge ordered those records sealed, as well as records of an acquittal for drunken driving and an assault arrest that did not result in charges.[6]

Darrow said he was in fear of his life during the incident. On June 29, 2007, in a discussion on the St. Louis Cop Talk forums (a site used mainly by St. Louis area police officers) about a prior incident in which Darrow disagreed with an officer, a forum member by the name of "STL_FINEST" posted "I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over - because I will see "his gun" and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs." That post has since been deleted.[7] Another anonymous post on the same site said "I'm going to his house to check for parking violations." On another web forum, a self-identified St. Louis officer said "Take the kid to jail... today... tommorrow... the next day... everytime you see him out and he commits a traffic violation... tow his car and take him to jail... period. No arguing, no yelling.....nothing but the sound of cash leaving his wallet from impound fees and fines."[8]

It was announced on 9/20/07 that during a closed-door meeting of the St. George Board of Aldermen, the board voted 5-0 to fire Sgt. Kuehnlein. St. George Police Chief Uhrig has recomended that the board fire Kuehnlein both for his unprofessionalism, and his failure to videotape the incident, which is a violation of department policy. "It's what I wanted the whole time," Darrow said. "The conduct was not forgivable."[9]

2007 Arrest and Resignation of Mayor

On Tuesday, October 23rd, Mayor Harold Goodman resigned from his position as a result of his arrest the prior night for misdemeanor drug possession. [10] Goodman, a retired police officer, claimed to be using marijuana to treat Crohn's Disease, a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, according to Police Chief Scott Urhig. [11] Just before a public comment meeting at St. George City Hall on the night of Thursday, October 25th, the Mayor was again arrested. This time the charge was possession of child pornography. [12]

Geography

St. George is located at 38°32′10″N, 90°18′44″W (38.536152, -90.312237).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.2 mi², all land.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,288 people, 700 households, and 322 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,949.0/mi². There were 724 housing units at an average density of 3,906.1/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 98.84% White, 0.47% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.78% of the population.

There were 700 households out of which 16.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.0% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 53.9% were non-families. 49.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.84 and the average family size was 2.68.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 28.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 73.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,832, and the median income for a family was $43,681. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $28,967 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,924. About 2.4% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.

Map

<googlemap lat="38.536152" lon="-90.312237" zoom="11" width="700" controls="large">38.536152, -90.312237, St. George, MO</googlemap>