FLORISSANT, Mo. – St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar is encouraging the three people in the car involved in a traffic stop with Florissant police to come forward and tell their side of the story.
A Florissant officer is suspended after a video surfaced showing a police officer’s SUV striking a man who appears to be running away. The officer has been suspended.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Attorney Wesley Bell recused himself from the investigation and requested St. Charles County Tim Lohmar to handle the investigation.
Today, Lohmar said he understands the frustration that there doesn’t seem to be forward progress. He explained his office still needs to hear from the three people who were part of the incident. He called it a “huge piece of the puzzle”.
Lohmar did say, “What I saw was shocking and disturbing, but there is more we need to know before we know what the truth is.”
Lohmar offered some new details during the afternoon press conference. He explained there were three people in a car that was stopped by members of the Florissant police department who were in an unmarked SUV.
Lohmar said the reason for the traffic stop was that the car matched the description of one wanted for firing shots from a vehicle. The Florissant police chief previously said those shots were fired near the police department.
The prosecutor says investigators have gone to the individuals’ homes to try, and talked to family, but haven’t been able to talk to the people involved. He is urging them to come forward, and for anyone who knows them, to do the same.
“Their story is vital to the rest of this story,” Lohmar said.
The video showing the officer’s SUV hitting the man was provided to our news station by a Dellwood resident’s doorbell camera.
Related content: Watch doorbell video here
The video shows the detectives get out of the vehicle, then apparently get on top of the man and hit him as he tries to restrain his hands behind his back. You can hear a lot of yelling in the video and the officers use strong words.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar is investigating after St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell recused himself.
Bell released this statement:
“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. 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.”
St. Louis County Police Department has also been asked to investigate so there are independent eyes on the case.
The suspect is a 20-year-old male who was wanted on pending charges. He was sent the hospital with an injury to the ankle, police said.
Earlier today, clergy members gathered to call for the officer to be fired. You can hear the message from the injured man’s mother here: https://fox2now.com/news/clergy-to-ask-for-florissant-officer-to-be-fired-after-viral-video-surfaces/