St. Louis Circuit Attorney responds to Officer Association’s ‘cop killer’ Facebook post
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A Facebook post from the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association is going viral Thursday afternoon. They posted a lengthy statement titled, “What A Would-Be Cop Killer Looks Like,” and a picture of the suspect involved in the shooting last spring to Facebook. A suspect and an officer shot at and injured each other outside a bar in April 2018.
The suspect was not charged in the shooting of the officer. Officers Willam Olsten and Joseph Schmitt were both charged this week with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Schmitt is also charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
This is the statement that the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association posted to Facebook Thursday:
“WHAT A WOULD-BE COP KILLER LOOKS LIKE…
This is the “man” that tried to murder two of our police officers. Shot one and would have killed him and a second officer if not for the bravery and quick thinking of a very heroic rookie policeman. Kim Gardner sees this gang-banging POS and thinks “VICTIM?” She takes his word over the word of four cops and all the other witnesses there that night and ignores the video and forensic evidence. Cops are not safe! And as long as they’re not safe, neither are you. If you were a cop, would you risk your life and your freedom defending someone from a thug like this knowing that Kim Gardner will charge you with murder or attempted murder. If you think cops in St. Louis are in a position to protect you, you are DEAD wrong. They are under siege by a prosecutor who is herself, accused of very serious crimes like suborning perjury and misusing campaign funds. The criminals are in charge now. They own the streets. Who will be their next victim and who can stop them? Right now, nobody.”
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has issued this response to the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association’s Facebook post:
“To protect the defendant’s rights to a fair trial, the Circuit Attorney’s Office does not comment on pending investigations. It’s reprehensible for the Police Officer’s Association try to circumvent the legal process by disparaging a crime victim on social media. The only place this matter should be litigated in is a court of law.”
Schmitt, Olsten, and the other officers then approached the victim’s van in the parking lot of Bomber O’Brien’s Sports Bar & Grill, located near Beck Avenue and S. Kingshighway Boulevard, just after 1 a.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018. Court documents state that no one in the group identified themselves as police officers and they were all dressed in plain clothes. Investigators said Olsten hopped in the back of the van without warning or permission. The victim got out of the van with a firearm to defend himself.
After a brief exchange, police said the victim tried getting back in his van when Olsten grabbed him from behind and slammed him to the pavement. The victim’s gun went off during the scuffle and Olsten was shot in the wrist and shoulder. Schmitt followed the driver and shot him from behind, striking the driver in the arms and legs.
Hayden said the suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene. The chief said the victim was 22 years of age. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Force Investigative Unit was seeking charges against the victim. The Circuit Attorney’s Office refused those charges based upon insufficient evidence.