St. Louis officer under investigation after alleged assault caught on camera

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ST. LOUIS – Fox 2 has obtained surveillance video of an altercation between a plainclothes St. Louis police officer and a customer at a convenience store.

This happened last Thursday morning at a gas station and Crown Food Mart convenience store at Vandeventer and Dr. Martin Luther King in north St. Louis.

As you can see in the video, a customer starts a conversation with the officer; the situation quickly escalates and turns physical. The conflict was caught on multiple surveillance cameras.

Some are questioning the actions of the police officer.

Aamer Abusaid, the manager of the Crowd Food Mart, saw much of the confrontation unfold.

Abusaid says the customer asked the officer about being a police officer and things somehow got heated from there.

“I don’t see what he could have said to provoke the officer. All he asked him was a question. He asked him a question, I guess the officer got offended about the question,” said Abusaid.

The surveillance video reveals that after words were exchanged, the customer reaches for a drink that he bought.

The officer pulls out his taser and handcuffs and begins striking the man with the cuffs. It appears the officer is trying to arrest the man and the man is attempting to resist.

There is no audio on the surveillance video.

After the first altercation, another happens moments later, as the officer continues to try and arrest the man. The man winds up on top of the officer.

Other officers then arrive and the man quickly puts his arms up and surrenders.

Abusaid says the customer involved comes there often and has never caused any problems. He also tells us the officer has been there in the past without any issues as well.

Fox 2 spoke with the man involved and he referred us to his attorney. The customer’s attorney told us she had a court hearing today and would get back to us. We have not heard from her since.

Abusaid thinks the confrontation could have been avoided.

“It was wrong for what happened. It was very ugly; it was very wrong. It could have went another way,” he said.

The city police department issued a statement reading, in part: “As with all allegations of officer misconduct a complete and thorough investigation will be conducted. The officer is still employed.”

The officer has been the city force since January 2017.

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