Video: Caught on Camera – St. Louis County Cops Cover Their Tracks

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A federal Homeland Security law enforcement officer was assigned to Metro transit patrol as part of a beefed-up security plan for the busy Fourth of July weekend.

He didn’t like what he saw.

Late in the afternoon on July 4, the officer walked into the North Hanley MetroLink substation to find 12 St. Louis County police officers milling about. A resulting Metro check of video footage determined that not only were county police officers loitering in the North Hanley security office instead of patrolling trains or platforms, at one point they covered the security camera with an envelope and tape.

That incident was not unique. At least eight times since 2015, the camera inside the MetroLink substation that serves the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Express Scripts has been covered by county police officers, according to records obtained by the Post-Dispatch through a public records request.

At a time in which St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has said he doubled the number of officers patrolling the transit system to deal with a spike in violence, the public documents, photos and video demonstrate a disturbing pattern of county police officers loitering in offices, covering a camera and refusing to cooperate with Metro public safety officials.

“I don’t see how any of this is serving the public interest or public safety,” said Metro Department of Public Safety Chief Richard Zott, who agreed to an interview after the Post-Dispatch obtained the records.

For the past several months, Metro officers have been unable to enforce laws, even for skipping fares, on the transit lines in the county, under legal threat from both county Police Chief Jon Belmar and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. Those county officials allege that the Metro officers — all of whom have Class A peace officer licenses through the state of Missouri — lack the proper legal authority to enforce the law.

But the county police officers who are supposed to keep transit lines safe have been found hiding away in security offices rather than patrolling trains and platforms, according to the records kept by Metro. Maintaining those records has become more difficult in the past few months as the dispute between the county and Metro has intensified. Last year, the county officers patrolling Metro stopped using a radio channel that the Metro officers could also monitor. And for the past few months, county police have stopped sharing duty logs with Metro.

For the full article visit: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/tony-messenger/messenger-caught-on-camera-st-louis-county-cops-cover-their/article_9789e796-f617-5e6d-ad19-765104543318.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5624 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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