St. Louis County police launch investigation into questions over deadly pursuit

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Police Department is backtracking from previous claims their officers were not involved in a pursuit after two suspects died in a wreck.

The department reversed course after Fox 2/KPLR 11 obtained exclusive video of the chase, which occurred Friday, August 10 in Berkeley.

Townsal Woolfolk and Mikel Neil died after running off the road on westbound Airport Road and hitting a tree.

Darryl Neil, Mikel’s brother, said he feels police caused the accident by chasing the two men. He’s accusing county police of lying when they previously said there was never a pursuit.

“The video we have shows there was a pursuit and nobody got too far out in front and couldn’t see,” Darryl Neil said.

Sgt. Shawn McGuire, a county police spokesman, said they relied on what their officers told them. The department launched an internal investigation last week and McGuire said this was the first time they’d seen any video.

“You guys (Fox 2) contacted us about this video. First time we are seeing it from you. We want to see more video if out there,” McGuire said.

Kaki Baruti, president of the Universal African People’s Organization, said they want officers who pursued the car to face criminal charges because they violated the county's policy on pursuits.

The St. Louis County Police Department said that’s part of their investigation.

“This is another example, many times that occur in our community, where police departments do not have respect for our communities like they should,” Baruti said.

Darryl Neil said his family wants transparency and communication, saying despite his brother’s problems, he never hurt anyone.

“My brother had a troubled past, but at end of the day he was a good person,” he said. “Anything he did, he did to himself.”