A detective out of the Florissant Police Department outside of St. Louis has been suspended after Ring doorbell video was released by RealSTLMedia, showing him hitting a suspect with his car. An investigation has now opened within the department over the detective's use of force and the actions of the other officers in the vehicle.
The victim is a 20-year-old male reportedly wanted on pending charges and near a video that looked like one police were on the lookout for this week. The incident caught on camera comes amid protests across the country for Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and against police brutality.
The incident depicted in the video happened earlier in the week and police started to prepare for protests shortly after. The National Guard was called in to surround the police station, while officers warned local business owners about protests being scheduled. According to FOX 2, one store owner confirmed the police had stopped by but didn't explain why the protest was happening.
The black and white video shows the 20-year-old suspect running from the officer's unmarked video as it cuts into a yard to hit the man. After the vehicle stops, the man stumbles back into the opposite direction as the detective exits and tackles the suspect. He then appears to beat on the suspect, leaving Chief Timothy Fagan upset over what he saw. He suspended the detective and passed the investigation over St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Tim Lomar. Before being forced to recuse himself, the case was initially assigned to St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell.
#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
"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," a statement from Bell reads. "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."
The suspended officer has been a member of the force for nearly a decade. According to Chief Fagan, he only now saw the video and will continue to address the incident as details come forth. It is one of many extreme police encounters that have been witnessed in past months.