FLORISSANT, MO – Officer disciplinary history is not public record, similar to personnel records of many professionals unless a department chooses to release that history or it’s obtained through a court order in a criminal case.
So, we asked Florissant Police Chief Tim Fagan, “Will the department release details of the officer’s disciplinary history and possible complaints?” Chief Fagan answered, “At this time we’re not going to release anything. Obviously, there’s an ongoing criminal investigation that’s occurring and we don’t want to do anything to taint that investigation.”
Chief Fagan did briefly respond to allegations made in two federal lawsuits in which officer Smith is named.
First was a 2015 lawsuit which also names other officers. It alleged officer Joshua “Smith used excessive and unreasonable force when he shot (the) defendant.”
That lawsuit was dismissed in 2016.
“Officer Smith used zero force (in that case). He was just present when the incident occurred and that entire incident was found to be just and it was all dismissed,” said Chief Fagan.
Chief Fagan also addressed a 2018 lawsuit, one with a handwritten court complaint alleging Smith and other officers “used excessive and deadly force on me by kicking me, punch me, kneeing me.”
“The second incident, unfortunately, there’s ongoing litigation about it so I’m not going to comment specifically about that incident. I will only say that that incident involved a white male that was arrested at the time of that incident,” said Chief Fagan.
There’s a court date set on that case set for June 23rd.
Officer Smith’s attorney Scott Rosenblum also weighed in, issuing a statement in defense of the former Florissant officer saying, “I have been an advocate against police abuse and misconduct my entire career; I wouldn’t touch (former Minneapolis police officer Derek) Chauvin’s case with a 10-foot pole. That was clearly murder. I believe what this detective did (officer Joshua Smith), was simply an accident.”
Missouri police officer licensing, called POST, will review complaints against officers and consider taking action. However, POST is prohibited by Missouri law from disclosing any of its investigative work. POST can only report whether an officer is currently licensed, as well as where he or she is commissioned to work.