ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the state’s Department of Health to find out what type of “unknown chemicals” were confiscated by officers during Jason Stockley-related protests in September.
Legal Director Tony Rothert says the agency won’t release lab results because they’re part of an ongoing investigation.
“Our view is that the Department of Health is not a law enforcement agency and therefore can not invoke that exemption,” Rothert told KMOX.
Rothert says the ACLU wants the court to decide whether the Department of Health is required to release the records. The chemicals were labeled apple cider vinegar — which can be used to mitigate the effects of pepper spray.
“What we’re interested in is seeing a copy of the lab results to get an idea of what they show and why St. Louis County Police thought at the beginning this might be a dangerous chemical,” Rothert said.
St. Louis County Police confiscated the chemicals Sept. 17, and then tweeted Oct. 5 that “After a false-positive test in the field, lab results indicate it’s most likely apple cider vinegar.”
The ACLU isn’t seeking damages — it just wants the court to decide whether it should compel the Health Department to release the lab results.