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Press Release

Indictment Accuses St. Louis Jail Employee of Assaulting Handcuffed Detainee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A corrections officer at the St. Louis Justice Center has been indicted on a civil rights charge and accused of assaulting a handcuffed detainee in March. 

Direll Alexander, 45, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on one felony count of deprivation of rights under color of law. The indictment says Alexander violated the detainee’s Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable force. It says that on March 6, 2023, Alexander assaulted and injured the detainee while he was restrained in handcuffs and while he did not pose any threat to Alexander.

“Jail employees are required by the Constitution to protect the rights of people in their custody and are barred from using excessive force on detainees,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “We take allegations of civil rights violations very seriously.”

Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg of the FBI St. Louis Division said, “The FBI prioritizes investigations of civil rights violations, which include the use of excessive force by sworn law enforcement officers.”

Alexander made his first appearance in court Friday, pleading not guilty to the charge. 

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or both.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Krug is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 23, 2023

Civil Rights