FLORISSANT, Mo. — The St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition wants a Florissant police officer fired following a video that shows an unmarked police SUV hitting a man who appeared to be running away.
The video was first posted by Real STL News on Saturday. It’s from a Dellwood resident’s doorbell camera. It shows an unmarked Florissant police SUV striking a man who appeared to be running away, who then screams as an officer gets on top of him to arrest him.
The view is partially obstructed by a car in a driveway, so it’s unclear which officer puts handcuffs on the man. The man can be seen falling to the ground and heard repeatedly screaming, “I don’t have nothing.”
The detective who was driving the car that struck the man has been suspended while an investigation is underway. Two other officers who were in the car have also been placed on leave.
Clergy and community leaders held a press conference Monday morning at the Florissant Police Department.
“We don’t want another Minneapolis here in St. Louis, so we are calling on the Florissant Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, and the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney (who are currently investigating this case) to act quickly and decisively, “ said Reverend Darryl Gray, Political Advisor for the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition.
One leader called the incident a "hit and beat."
A clergy leader said the mother of the man seen in the video said he hadn't been in trouble with the law prior to the incident and said that he was a decent student. The clergy also said that the family of the man who was hit wants the officer fired as well as charges filed.
“The fact that this incident happened on Tuesday, June 2, and that the Florissant police chief didn’t know about it until the following Saturday, is problematic by itself. Why wasn’t this reported to him immediately? It speaks to the lack of police transparency and accountability that is being protested against throughout our country, “Gray added.
There will be a 2 p.m. press conference in front of the St. Charles County courthouse where Tim Lohmar, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney, will address the incident. A spokesperson said there will be no announcement of charges as the investigation is still on-going.
"We would like to take this opportunity to keep the community informed as to the status of the investigation," a spokesperson for the St. Charles County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney said in an email.
5 On Your Side has learned that an officer riding as a backseat passenger in the Florissant police car that struck the man is the son of Tim Swope, who is St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell’s spokesperson.
Bell issued a statement that said he recused himself from the investigation and asked Lohmar to handle the case because of a conflict of interest.
Protests took place outside the Florissant Police Department for much of Sunday. At one point, protesters blocked the street in front of the police department. The protest remained peaceful.