Doorbell video shows Missouri police officer hitting suspect with vehicle

National


FLORISSANT, Mo. (KTVI) — A Missouri police officer is suspended after a video surfaced showing a police SUV striking a man who appears to be running away. 

The video, which is going viral on social media, was captured by a resident’s doorbell camera. The video appears to show an unmarked vehicle striking a man on June 2. 

The video also shows an officer get out of the vehicle and apparently get on top of the man and hit him while trying to restrain the man’s hands behind his back. On the video can be heard yelling and the officer using strong words. 

The officer is a nine-year veteran detective on the force.

“It depicts a citizen being struck by a police vehicle. A 20- year-old man was taken to the hospital. After seeing that video, I was deeply concerned about the content, and shortly after, I spoke with the St. Louis County Police Crimes Against Persons Division on the conduct and asked for an independent investigation to see if there were any wrongdoing on the part of the officer,” said Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan.

Fagan said he saw the video for the first time Saturday, four days after the incident took place. St. Louis County Prosecutor Attorney Wesley Bell recused himself from the investigation and requested St. Charles County Tim Lohmar handle the investigation.

Bell released this statement:

“Upon learning of the existence of the video, we immediately began making investigative inquiries. We quickly learned that our office had a conflict of interest: a close relative of a staffer in our office was at the scene of the incident. The case was then assigned to St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lomar to act as a Special Prosecutor, as is our standard practice in conflict cases. We advised Florissant Chief Fagen to refer this matter to St. Louis County PD as well as the FBI for an independent investigation, which he informs us that he has already done.”

Said Fagan: “We reached out and asked for some independent eyes to look at this because we, along with the public, deserve to know what happened.” 

A Missouri National guardsman stands guard at the entrance to the Florissant Police Department in Florissant, Missouri on June 7, 2020. The guard has been called in to protect the property after a video was released that shows a police SUV knocking a man to the ground. The 31-year-old driver , a nine year veteran of the department, has been suspended. The man who appeared to be running from police, was not seriously hurt. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

He said police had been looking for a black Dodge Charger in connection with shots fired across from the police department earlier in the week. 

The suspect is a 20-year-old male who was wanted on pending charges. He was taken to the hospital with an ankle injury, police said.

On Saturday, National Guard Troops were at each entrance of the Florissant Police Department.

City workers and firefighters boarded up the facility. Neighboring businesses said they were warned by police to do the same but were not told why.

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