EAST ST. LOUIS – On April 24, 2023, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office (SCCSAO) filed two counts of Official Misconduct (Class 3 Felony) and four counts of Aggravated Battery (Class 3 Felony) against 32-year-old Justin D. Gaither, a Washington Park Police Officer.

Justin D. Gaither, a Washington Park Police Officer.On March 19, 2023, the Washington Park Police Department (WPPD) requested the Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 6 to conduct an excessive use of force investigation involving Gaither, one of their officers.

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Earlier that day, Gaither had responded to a residence near 45th Street and Bunkum Road in Washington Park for a call for service. While in the home, Gaither reportedly became involved in a physical altercation with a 19-year-old male resident.

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An ambulance responded to treat the injuries of the 19-year-old victim. Gaither allegedly used excessive force on the victim by striking him in the face and tasering him while strapped to an ambulance gurney. Gaither was purported to have performed these acts upon the victim when he knew the person to be of severe or profound intellectual disability. The victim was transported to an area hospital with injuries.

On April 25, 2023, after charges were filed and a warrant was issued, Gaither turned himself in to authorities, where he posted the bond set by the Court and was released pending trial.

The Illinois State Police led the investigation into the use of force. Questions about the employment status of Gaither can be directed to the WPPD.

The Illinois State Police will disseminate no further information.

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