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Suburban St. Louis officer is fired after berating motorist
bnd.com | AP ^ | 9/21/07

Posted on 09/21/2007 3:53:14 PM PDT by LibWhacker

ST. GEORGE, Mo. -- A suburban St. Louis police officer whose berating of a motorist was captured on video has lost his job.

Aldermen in the tiny town St. George voted 5-0 to fire Sgt. James Kuehnlein. The vote occurred Monday in a session closed to the public. Notice of the firing was posted Wednesday at City Hall.

Motorist Brett Darrow, 20, had a video recorder inside his car. He was at a commuter lot near Interstate 55 in the early hours of Sept. 7 when the officer approached the car.

In a video that got wide viewership on the Internet, Kuehnlein is heard taunting and threatening Darrow, sometimes shouting and using profanity.

Darrow had met with Police Chief Scott Uhrig after the incident to ask that Kuehnlein be fired.

"It's what I wanted the whole time," Darrow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The conduct was not forgivable."

Uhrig said he recommended that aldermen fire Kuehnlein based both on his language in the tape and because he violated department policy. That's because Kuehnlein should have been taping the encounter himself with his police car's camera.

No such footage could be found, though the camera is functional, Uhrig said.

The monthly board of aldermen meeting Thursday night was moved to a community center to accommodate the overflow crowd. About 30 people showed up, some defending their town and saying they were proud of their police force.

"This city needs to keep its own police department," said Mike Mosier, a former St. Louis police officer who has lived in St. George for 42 years.

But Alderman Carmen Wilkerson said she fielded dozens of calls from residents in recent days. She said many were from residents who said they were humiliated and embarrassed by the incident.

Aldermen said they planned to review how officers are hired and said the city attorney had looked into the cost of having St. Louis County patrol the city.

Kuehnlein's attorney, Travis L. Noble, said the officer received a letter Thursday detailing the reasons for his firing. Noble said he would review the letter with his client before deciding on a course of action.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Missouri
KEYWORDS: brettdarrow; fired; leo; motorist; officer; stlouis
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1 posted on 09/21/2007 3:53:18 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

the leo will just turn up somewhere else.


2 posted on 09/21/2007 3:54:37 PM PDT by steveo (Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.)
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To: LibWhacker

We saw the footage on our local news. He needed to be gotten rid of. I would hope, and assume that his actions doesn’t and wouldn’t reflect that of the entire squad. I never even thought of it.


3 posted on 09/21/2007 3:56:17 PM PDT by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops.... http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/)
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To: LibWhacker

Good for Darrow. Kid has huevos to go after the corrupt thugs. I am sure he has learned to remain very visible to prevent the thug’s buddies from giving him an “attitude adjustment”.


4 posted on 09/21/2007 3:56:45 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: steveo
“the leo will just turn up somewhere else”

Sad but probably true. I’ve seen the video. This was no leo, that was a thug wearing a uniform. I know some cops and they are NOT like that. If he doesnt get a job my guess is the former cop will end up being arrested for something sooner or later.

5 posted on 09/21/2007 3:57:47 PM PDT by samm1148 (Pennsylvania-They haven't taxed air--yet)
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To: steveo

Probably at Darrow’s house with revenge in mind.

It’s rare to see cops suffer the repercussions of their bad judgment.


6 posted on 09/21/2007 3:57:57 PM PDT by Filo (Darwin was right!)
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To: samm1148
This was no leo, that was a thug wearing a uniform.

The question, of course, is how is the average citizen supposed to be able to tell the difference?

7 posted on 09/21/2007 4:02:44 PM PDT by surely_you_jest (I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers)
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To: LibWhacker

Here’s one of the threads on FR.

Officer in trouble over motorist’s video in South County(Cop caught threatening to invent Charges)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1895311/posts?page=53

St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 09/11/2007 | By Patrick M. O’Connell and Georgina Gustin

This kind of stuff happens all the time, but now that cameras are cheap & plentiful, we’ll see more proof of it. That’s one way to hold LEO’s to their own professed code of ethics.


8 posted on 09/21/2007 4:06:24 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: LibWhacker

Good. I watched the tape. That goon didn’t deserve a badge. LEO’s like him make the job harder for honest cops.


9 posted on 09/21/2007 4:08:33 PM PDT by SmoothTalker
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To: LibWhacker

What? It’s illegal to beat motorists now?


10 posted on 09/21/2007 4:09:57 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: SmoothTalker

good thing he didn’t have a taser at his hip......he was on the brink of rage!


11 posted on 09/21/2007 4:11:57 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Kevmo

I believe that this Brett Darrow taped his encounter with police before at one of those unconstitutional road checkpoints (ostensibly for DUI.) I think he’s the same one who had the cop try to drive his car off to the side and was messing up the clutch (couldnt drive manual.)

Brett if you’re out there, let us know. He posted on one thread last year or a couple years ago.


12 posted on 09/21/2007 4:13:28 PM PDT by Skywalk (Transdimensional Jihad!)
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To: LibWhacker

Good outcome. What the cop did in my opinion is also illegal and he should be at least charged with menacing, pay a $250 fine and be on probation for a year. That seems like something a non-cop citizen would get if they did something like that.


13 posted on 09/21/2007 4:13:29 PM PDT by CodeToad
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To: LibWhacker

“Kuehnlein should have been taping the encounter himself with his police car’s camera.”

this part makes it pretty clear that the cop premeditated


14 posted on 09/21/2007 4:15:04 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: samm1148
If he doesnt get a job my guess is the former cop will end up being arrested for something sooner or later.

Yup, like that ex-cop who fired on officers in Florida earlier this week. Did you see him? Man, it looked like they slammed his face through a windshield -- or two or three.

15 posted on 09/21/2007 4:15:19 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: steveo

He may have a hard time with them firing him but he may catch on in another small town because of the cost of training. Most police officers get back on because they allow them to resign rather than firing and making it public.No doubt he deserved this from what I heard on the tape.


16 posted on 09/21/2007 4:17:47 PM PDT by gunnedah
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To: Drango

LOL


17 posted on 09/21/2007 4:17:57 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~

Unfortunately there is always a bad apple in every barrel. sometimes several.
I know one of my own sons had been the target of a couple of bad eggs in our local police department. This little digital recorders can come in handy when you have a bad cop hassling you.


18 posted on 09/21/2007 4:18:22 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Skywalk

you’re right...it IS the same kid...I wonder if it is the same cop?

“A full video of the incident is available here. A transcript is provided below as the audio is at times very faint. Update: Darrow caught a similar incident on tape September 9, 2007. View the complete story with clear video and audio.”

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/15/1522.asp


19 posted on 09/21/2007 4:19:30 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Vn_survivor_67-68

Yeah, that and berating the driver was bad enough, but that “young boy” bit was downright creepy... I mean, WHAT was that all about?


20 posted on 09/21/2007 4:22:42 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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