Two St. Louis police officers are now under investigation for lying under oath after video evidence revealed the cops lied about an alleged carjacking attempt, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
On March 19, two officers alleged that they had been victims of an attempted carjacking. One officer claimed a man ran toward the police vehicle and tapped on the window with a handgun aimed at the officers inside. However, the police were slow to provide attorneys with any video evidence of the situation — so a prosecutor’s office employee called up some local businesses to see if any of them had security camera footage of the reported carjacking.
One did, but it painted a drastically different picture than what the police reported:
[Chief warrant officer Chris] Hinckley said the business footage shows the man walking into the street, into the path of the police pickup, then walking away without ever lifting his hands from his side.
The entire confrontation lasted two or three seconds.
“This is nowhere near what he (an officer) represented,” Hinckley said. “You wonder why nobody got this footage.”
The arrest of the purported carjacker made national news, but video evidence has exonerated him of any charges of criminal activity; the worst offense he committed in the video footage was jaywalking. However, the offender remains in jail for other reasons.
One of the officers involved can be heard on his body-worn camera saying the suspect ran out from a bus stop, gun drawn and held in outstretched arms. The officer said the suspect first ran directly in front of their car, causing the driver to swerve, before bringing the gun to the passenger side and pointing it inside.
Moving through the video Tuesday, Hinckley said it instead shows the suspect already a few yards past the bus stop when he starts to cross the street outside of a designated crosswalk. The police vehicle stops short of where the man is standing, he turns back towards the street and walks on with his hands by his side.
Police left the scene three seconds after stopping short in front of the man.
Millikan said Hinckley didn’t show all of the footage, which includes the part where the man approaches the passenger side of the police vehicle and points a gun at one of his client’s faces.
Footage from the police department has yet to be released to the courts. If Millikan is correct, it will paint a different picture of the carjacking than the one being painted by prosecutors. That, however, currently remains to be seen.
This is becoming part of a longstanding dispute between Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and the St. Louis police.