February 21, 2020
After five years of fighting alongside our client Kristine Hendrix, a jury of twelve St. Louisans determined that SLMPD officer Stephen Ogunjobi used unreasonable and unlawful force when he repeatedly tased her following a peaceful protest. Despite the officer’s and the City’s failed attempts to shift blame and prosecute Ms. Hendrix, this verdict makes clear that it was the SLMPD’s officer, not Ms. Hendrix, who was fully in the wrong. Make no mistake–this is an indictment not only of the individual officer that committed this horrible abuse, but also of the SLMPD supervisors that condoned it, and the City that subsequently sought to cover it with a baseless prosecution.
We know that verdicts against police officers are rare. Surviving victims of police violence too often face a system that allows them to get away with it. Kristine Hendrix refused to give up her fight, and yesterday she won a verdict in her favor.
No amount of money would be enough to repair the trauma and harm Ms. Hendrix has endured, and we believe Ms. Hendrix deserves far more than the damages awarded by the jury in this case.
In moments like this, we are reminded that clients like Ms. Hendrix continue to face overwhelming odds when they step forward to challenge injustice. We are proud to support her and others in pushing for the systemic change needed in the criminal legal system for it to fully recognize the humanity of those it has long disregarded.
– ArchCity Defenders