ST. LOUIS – A detective with the Florissant Police Department has been suspended pending an investigation about his use of force after he hit a suspect with his patrol car, according to the Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan.
In a video going viral on the Real STL News Facebook page, an officer in an unmarked vehicle can be seen as striking a man who appears to be running away before the officer gets on top of him, hitting him several times, and arrest him.
The suspect is a 20-year-old male who was wanted on pending charges. He was sent the hospital with an injury to the ankle, police said.
During a press conference, Chief Fagan said police were looking for a black Dodge Charger in connection with shots fired across from the police department earlier this week. He states he is upset about the incident but saw it for the first time Saturday, June 6, four days after the encounter on Tuesday, June 2.
Fox 2’s Emily Manley spoke with a local business owner, that told her police stopped into their business just before 5:00 p.m Saturday to warn them about a protest that is scheduled to happen tonight. The owner says she asked police multiple times why there would be a protest, but police did not answer.
National Guard Troops were at each entrance of the Florissant Police Department and city workers including firefighters were seen boarding up windows and placing barricades around the campus.
The officer who was on the force for 9 years is suspended. The case is now turned over to the St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Tim Lomar after St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell recused himself from the investigation.
Statement from St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell
“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.”
#BREAKING: Florissant Police Chief says a police detective is suspended after a viral video shows the officer hitting a man with his police car and then hitting him multiple times. More on @FOX2now at 9. pic.twitter.com/WF0B0Nkycr— Emily Manley (@EmilyManleyTV) June 7, 2020