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Protesters call for fired Florissant officer to be arrested after hitting man with car | ‘I hear those cries,’ police chief says

"To say that there were numerous police violations would be an understatement," Police Chief Timothy Fagan said

FLORISSANT, Mo. — Joshua Smith, who was caught by a residential surveillance camera striking a man with his unmarked police car on June 2, has been terminated from the Florissant Police Department, according to Chief Timothy Fagan.

Smith had been suspended since Saturday. He had been with the department for nine years.

Chief Fagan called the video deeply upsetting and disturbing.

"To say that there were numerous police violations would be an understatement. There were several things inside that video that the police department does not condone nor does the police department agree with," Fagan said.

Protesters have been calling for the detective's firing since the video started circulating on social media Saturday, but Fagan said an internal review was necessary before reaching a decision.

Protesters have also been demanding the detective's arrest. They rallied outside the police department again Wednesday, the fourth day in a row.

"I hear those cries. We are listening to the voices of the people," Fagan said.

St. Louis County police are investigating the case. The FBI is also looking into it. The St. Charles County prosecutor will decide whether to charge detective Smith.

READ MORE: Florissant officer in viral video was previously accused in deadly shooting and violent beating incidents

Attorney Scott Rosenblum is representing Smith. He issued a statement referencing his views on the Derek Chauvin case. Chauvin was charged with murder for kneeling on George Floyd's neck in Minneapolis for more than eight minutes.

"I have been an advocate against police abuse and misconduct my entire career. I wouldn't touch Chauvin with a 10' pole. That was clearly murder. I believe what this detective did, was simply an accident," Rosenblum said.

A video from a Dellwood resident’s doorbell camera shows Smith’s unmarked Florissant police car hitting a man who appears to be running away and then screaming as an officer gets on top of him to arrest him.

The man's attorney said he's had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair injuries to his leg and ankle.

EXCLUSIVE: 'Right now, he's scared,' say attorneys for man struck by Florissant officer

The video was first obtained and posted by Real STLNews Saturday and shows multiple officers at the scene June 2 around 11:30 p.m. in the 9800 block of Eastdell Drive.

The view is partially obstructed by a car in a driveway. The man can be seen falling to the ground and heard repeatedly screaming “I don’t have anything.”

A police helicopter spotlight also appears to be shining on the vehicle.

There is no body cam footage, as detectives for the department do not wear body cameras.

Two other officers who were in the car remain on leave, but Fagan said Wednesday that it appears they did not do anything wrong. He said the officers included information about how the man was struck in a police report but that there was a breakdown in communication, and it did not get to the chief.

"I should have known. There is no excuse," Fagan said. "But I do want to be clear to the public, I think there's been a misconception in some capacity the officers lied or the officers hid the fact that this incident occurred. That's not true."

One of them is the son of Tim Swope, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell. Bell has asked St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar to handle the case due to a conflict of interest.

Lohmar has said the video of the incident looks “shocking.”

READ MORE: 'What I saw was shocking and disturbing' | St. Charles County prosecuting attorney gives update on Florissant police case

Fagan said the pursuit began when the detective was monitoring a vehicle that matched a description of a vehicle associated with a previous "shots fired" call.

Police sources told 5 On Your Side the men inside turned out not to be the suspects and the car was not involved in the shooting.  

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