ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A former St. Louis County police officer is speaking out after charges of two felonies and a DWI were dropped earlier this week.
Anthony Jones and his attorney, Travis Noble, say the officer was falsely accused and warn that a civil suit is coming.
“I was vindicated like I said I would be from the beginning,” Jones said. “But for a year and a half, I was vilified.”
In the early morning hours of February 4, 2018, Jones, who was off-duty at the time, was driving home from downtown St. Louis. The road was wet from the rain. Jones said he lost control of his new Dodge Charger and struck a pole. A few moments later, a city police truck pulled up with two officers.
“When they pulled up behind me, they didn’t have their lights on. I was out of the car,” Jones said. “I said I’m off-duty St. Louis County. They said, ‘Shut the F up’ and ‘Get on the ground.’”
Jones said one of the officers threw him on the ground and nobody answered his questions as to what was happening.
“The male officer on top of me put on cuffs. The female officer, at some point, kneed me in the back. She runs over to my car and says, ‘Where are the guns?’”
Jones said he never fought back. He said pictures of injuries show the force used on him. Jones said he kept telling the officers he was a county cop.
“(The male officer) says, ‘I don’t give a F who you are, shut the F up’ and then he Tased me three times in the back,” he said.
The only gun in Jones’ car was his service weapon, which was locked up. Jones even showed the officers how to open his glove compartment, where he kept the weapon. When it was over, Jones was charged with armed criminal action, resisting arrest, and DWI.
“When he told me the story, I said this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard,” Noble said.
Noble, a former cop turned criminal defense attorney, took the case pro-bono. He said Jones was seriously wronged, didn’t have the funds to hire a lawyer, and knew a civil case would be likely.
Noble said the officers thought Jones went the wrong way on a one-way street, so they followed him, but they were wrong. Moments later, Jones wrecked.
“Once I was able to expose the story and show the officers who made the arrest their stories didn’t match and they were wrong about the reason for the stop, they decided not to go ahead with trial,” Noble said.
“As a young African-American male, it would be unbecoming and unsafe for me to do that,” Jones said. “I’m college-educated; grandparents raised me great. I have respect for law enforcement, which is why I put my life on the line every day.”
Jones admitted to having one drink earlier that evening. He blew a .084, just over the legal limit of .08. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office amended the charge to careless and imprudent driving so that, according to Noble, the case had been dropped.
Jones ultimately his job with the county police force because he was charged with felonies. Now unemployed, Jones said he’s going to law school so he can help people the way Noble helped him.
Fox 2 reached out to the city and county police departments but they did not want to comment.
However, Susan Ryan from the circuit attorney’s office did respond, saying: “Mr. Jones pled guilty to a reduced charge. There is an ongoing review by our office surrounding this matter and the conduct of the officers.”