Monday, September 10, 2007

Bad Cop

It's a shame that people don't respect police officers anymore. Unfortunately, it's because of cops like this.

Sorry about all the clicking in the video. I'm not sure what it is, but it's really annoying. The point still delivers, though.

1 comment:

Jade said...


Officer in trouble over motorist's video in South County
By Patrick M. O'Connell and Georgina Gustin

ST. GEORGE — A car-mounted video camera — more commonly used by police than against them — captured a loud and threatening confrontation in this tiny St. Louis County community that left an officer on suspension and the whole world able to listen in.

The picture doesn't show much, but the audio part of the recording, posted on Google Video and YouTube on the Internet, brought more than 300 protest calls to St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig.

"I was very displeased when I saw the actions on the video," Uhrig said. "My officers are not trained and taught to act like that."

He put Sgt. James Kuehnlein on unpaid suspension pending further investigation.

Uhrig said the officer's actions were not justified, and he insisted the episode is not representative of his department.

A voice identified as Kuehnlein's can be heard taunting the driver and threatening to jail him on fabricated charges.

The tape, made late last week, was from a camera running in the vehicle Kuehnlein approached, police said.

Brett Darrow, 20, of St. Louis, said he was the driver who recorded the exchange. He posted it online Saturday.

"I wanted everybody to see that this kind of stuff does happen," Darrow said. "I thought if I just go to the chief or whatever, it would just get swept under the rug."

Kuehnlein could not be reached for comment Monday night.

St. George, a municipality of about 1,300, sits along Interstate 55 at Reavis Barracks Road.

In the video, Kuehnlein, a St. George officer for about two years, approaches a young man who was sitting in a parked car about 2 a.m. in a commuter lot near Spokane and Reavis Barracks roads. Kuehnlein asks for identification. When Darrow asks whether he did anything wrong, the officer orders him out of the car and begins shouting.

"You want to try me? You want to try me tonight? You think you have a bad night? I will ruin your night. … Do you want to try me tonight, young boy?"

Darrow says no.

"Do you want to go to jail for some (expletive) reason I come up with?" the police officer says. Later, Darrow says, "I don't want any problems, officer."

"You're about to get it," Kuehnlein is heard saying. "You already started your (expletive) problems with your attitude."

After the officer notices the camera, he says, "I don't really care about your cameras, 'cause I'm about ready to tow your car, then we can tear 'em all apart."

After more than 10 minutes of interaction, Darrow is allowed to go.

Darrow said he was not trying to entrap the officer. He said he pulled into the commuter lot to meet a friend. When the officer asked him for identification, Darrow said he didn't immediately present it because he believes the officer stopped him without probable cause.

Darrow said he installed the cameras in his Nissan Maxima after past run-ins with police. He said he was involved in a physical confrontation in 2005 with an off-duty St. Louis police officer, in a case Darrow said was later dismissed.

Darrow said he plans to meet with Uhrig today to discuss the weekend incident.

Chief Uhrig said Kuehnlein stopped to talk to Darrow because police have received reports of thefts from cars in the area. But, Uhrig said, based on his viewing of the online video, the officer acted inappropriately when he threatened to make up charges, and used a disrespectful tone and inappropriate language.

"We don't do that," Uhrig said. "Someone either violated the law or they didn't. You don't say, I'll lock you up and then come up with why afterward."

Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.