Skip to comments.Suburban St. Louis officer is fired after berating motorist
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.
the leo will just turn up somewhere else.
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.
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”.
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.
Probably at Darrow’s house with revenge in mind.
It’s rare to see cops suffer the repercussions of their bad judgment.
The question, of course, is how is the average citizen supposed to be able to tell the difference?
Here’s one of the threads on FR.
Officer in trouble over motorist’s video in South County(Cop caught threatening to invent Charges)
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.
Good. I watched the tape. That goon didn’t deserve a badge. LEO’s like him make the job harder for honest cops.
What? It’s illegal to beat motorists now?
good thing he didn’t have a taser at his hip......he was on the brink of rage!
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.
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.
“Kuehnlein should have been taping the encounter himself with his police car’s camera.”
this part makes it pretty clear that the cop premeditated
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Yeah, that and berating the driver was bad enough, but that “young boy” bit was downright creepy... I mean, WHAT was that all about?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.