Published On: Tue, Feb 17th, 2015

What Do St. Louis Police Do to Avoid Being Taped Beating a Suspect? Simple – Turn Off Dashboard Camera

If there was nothing wrong with police conduct and the suspect was resisting arrest and carrying — why was he let go?

Dash cam video showing a night-time arrest was suddenly turned off by a St. Louis police officer, and now the man who was arrested is suing the officers for excessive force.

A spokesperson for the city told NewsChannel 5 that the officer who actually turned off the camera violated a policy and has been disciplined, but none of the other officers involved were disciplined.

It’s a little like having a designated driver, expect what you’re drunk on is violence against civilians.

According to the St. Louis police, they pulled over Cortez Bufford and a passenger last April, because the car matched a description of a car involved in a shooting.

When police tried to get Bufford out of his car, he refused.

On the portion of the dash cam video that was shot, you hear a man screaming and see a struggle starting. A few officers kick Bufford, he continues to fight back, then he gets tased.

At some point, unidentified officer says, “Hold up, everybody hold up, we are red right now, so if you guys are worried about the cameras just wait.”

Bevis Schock, Bufford’s lawyer says there was no reason for the entire incident, police had no business stopping his client, and certainly no reason to kick him:

“You watch the foot go back and the foot go forward, now I think you can go to the police academy for a long time before they say the right move is to kick they guy, ” he told the news channel.

Police did find a 9mm pistol, 5 live rounds, and marijuana on Bufford. He was charged with resisting arrest and drug and gun possession—but the charges were later dropped.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office released the following statement:

Just as in every case, the Circuit Attorney’s Office continued an investigation into the incident regarding Cortez Bufford after charges were filed.

As standard procedure, prosecutors requested a copy of the police dash-cam video, which was not available at the time of the initial warrant application. Several prosecutors reviewed the video and were concerned to see the intentional deactivation of the dash-cam video.

The office immediately reported this concern to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division and to the sergeant of the officer involved.

Additionally, prosecutors conducted a separate review to determine if any police conduct depicted on the video rose to the level of criminal activity. The review process included thorough interviews of the officers present during the incident. Subsequently, the Circuit Attorney’s Office concluded the conduct did not violate Missouri law.

In August 2014, the office dismissed charges against Mr. Bufford.

That last part, is what we call in the business a smelly fish. If there was nothing wrong with police conduct and the suspect was resisting arrest and carrying — why was he let go?

And why did he decide to turn around and sue the cops who let him go?

Stay tuned…

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