Marvia Gray

Marvia Gray

A lawsuit is still pending nine months after a Creve Coeur woman sued four Des Peres police officers for what she describes as a brutal assault and battery against her son on March 23, after a false charge of stealing a television from the Sam’s Club at 13455  Manchester Road.

According to the lawsuit, Marvia Gray’s son, Derek Gray, suffered three shattered front teeth, a head injury requiring 12 stitches and seven staples, a cut above his right eye that required seven stitches, along with severe neck and back pain. Gray’s lawyer, William Dailey Jr., said in an interview with The St. Louis American that Derek Gray still had staples in his head.

Marvia Gray was 68 at the time and suffered severe injuries to her tailbone, back, rotator cuff, knees and arms, among other injuries, according to the suit.

While Daily believes there will be a hearing scheduled in the nex 30-45 days in the case, nothing was set at the time of publishing.

Attorneys Timothy Reichhardt and Joseph Neely represent the Des Peres police officers named in Gray’s lawsuit.

"Generally speaking, we believe that the video footage tells the whole story and that the actions of the officers were appropriate and justified under the circumstances,” Reichhardt said. 

Marvia Gray was charged with obstructing police and resisting arrest April 23, a month after the incident,which was captured on Sam’s Club surveillance camera. The video in its entirety can be viewed online at https://bit.ly/3s5lcXN.

Daily is representing Gray in those criminal matters as well and said he successfully filed a motion to move her criminal case from Des Peres municipal court to the St. Louis County Associate Court.

“But essentially, if you look at this from Marvia Gray’s perspective, you have a mother who is [68] years old who's watching as her adult son is being slammed against the wall and then on the ground, and his blood is literally spilling all over the place on the floor,” Daily said. “… And the only thing that she did in that interaction, because it's there [on video], is when the officer was initially talking to her, she went to the door. She went to get the person who checked them out.”

Dailey said those two criminal cases have hearings scheduled in a few months.

We’re not opposed to a just resolution in either case but we're just not really interested in the politics behind how these things typically go,” he said. “Because here is one of those cases where the video pretty much speaks for itself in terms of what happened, what went on. And we'll just go through the legal process of making sure that on the criminal and the civil side that Marvia Gray is made whole.”

Following the incident, Dailey said St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s Conviction and Incident Review Unit launched an investigation into the officers involved. A spokesperson for Bell said the investigation is ongoing and declined to release additional information.

Bell established the unit shortly after taking office in 2019 “to further the office’s commitment to justice, professional ethics, integrity, and protection of the innocent.” 

Although it was not widely reported, Dailey said Sam’s Club also responded to the incident by entering into a confidential settlement with the Gray family a few months after the March incident. He called the store the “silent participant” in the case.

“But they were aware of the unjust actions that had taken place and the unnecessary escalation of what went on,” Dailey said.

Clarification (Jan. 28, 2021):

Attorney William Daily Jr. is representing Marvia Gray in a criminal case related to charges against Gray last March. Daily said he successfully filed a motion to move the case against Gray from Des Peres municipal court to the St. Louis County Circuit Court. This means the Des Peres municipal prosecutor will continue to prosecute the case, but the case will now be heard in a St. Louis County Circuit Court by an associate circuit judge, instead of the Des Peres municipal court.

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