MetroLink Passengers Stuck on Train with Belligerent Drunk (UPDATED)

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Photo courtesy of a MetroLink passenger
Above, a man suspected of drunkenly causing an altercation on the Blue Line is finally taken away by EMS at the Shrewsbury station.
UPDATE: We updated this post around 1:50 p.m. with new info from the St. Louis County Police Department. See update at the bottom of the post. We also updated around 6:45 p.m. with additional eyewitness information about the fight.

Original story follows....

An incident on MetroLink's Blue Line turned ugly last week, when a drunk man making racial slurs apparently hassled a woman exiting the train at its Brentwood station. She whacked him with her purse, a witness tells Daily RFT, and made it off the train.

But another passenger was fed up with the man's belligerence, says the witness. That passenger clocked the intoxicated man.

And that's when things got really screwy.

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Former St. Louis Cop: "Police Don't Care What Your Rights Are" During Protests

Categories: Ferguson, Police

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Danny Wicentowski
Terrell Carter.
The words were chanted in the streets of Ferguson, blasted from car stereo systems and graffitied on the plywood panels covering store windows: "Fuck the police."

Yet amid the police shootings, mass demonstrations and intense media coverage of the past eight months, we've rarely had the chance to hear from officers on the ground, those men and women who stood silently on picket lines as protesters hurled invective and insults. Daily RFT's attempts to interview officers directly were repeatedly rebuffed. Occasionally, police chiefs and public relations officials updated reporters on general morale, but officers from the St. Louis region's various police departments largely closed their ranks to outsiders.

However, some former officers have chosen to speak out about their experiences on the force. Terrell Carter, now a minister, artist and teacher, served as a cop for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from 1997 to 2002. This year, he published a memoir of his years policing St. Louis' streets, Walking the Thin Blue Line: A Police Officer Turned Community Activist Provides Solutions to the Racial Divide.

We sat down with Carter this week to talk about St. Louis' police culture and how he thinks police could have better handled the Ferguson protests.

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Judge Throws Out Marijuana Charge After State Fails to Turn Over Dash-Cam Footage [UPDATE]

Categories: Crime, Police

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BND via YouTube
Dash-cam footage showed Highland police officer Charles Allen arresting Patrick Luchtefeld.
In most small-quantity weed busts, it's normal for the defendant to plead guilty, pay a fine and move on. Case closed. However, Patrick M. Luchtefeld, a 32-year-old Trenton, Illinois, resident, believed he had been unfairly profiled when a Highland, Illinois, cop arrested him in September during a traffic stop. The officer allegedly found a small baggy of weed near the car's passenger seat and charged Luchtefeld, who was not driving, with possessing between 2.5 and 10 grams of marijuana.

Luchtefeld didn't take the charge lying down, saying he'd been profiled because of his tattoos and prior convictions. He got a lawyer and filed a request under Illinois' Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the dash-cam footage of the arrest. He received four CDs containing the video several days later.

During the trial last month, Madison County prosecutors revealed they had no idea there was a recording of the arrest. Even stranger, the arresting officer, Charles Allen, testified that the dash-cam footage didn't exist.

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Detective Took AR-15 Rifle From Evidence for Photo Shoot, Drugs Possibly Missing As Well

Categories: Police

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Google Street View
The Brooklyn police department.
A police evidence locker doesn't work like a public library. Obviously, right?

Yet it seems a former detective for the Brooklyn, Illinois police department thought it would be okay if he borrowed an AR-15 assault rifle to hold during a photo shoot for the department's calender, and now an Illinois State's Attorney says other evidence -- including drugs and ammo -- are still missing.

On Wednesday, Illinois State Police and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department investigators raided the offices of the Village of Brooklyn, which houses the town's police department and administrative offices. Officers carried out boxes of documents, computers, weapons and other equipment, according to a report from KMOV (Channel 4).

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Darren Wilson Gives Speech to Non-Profit for Cops "Wrongly Accused in the Line of Duty"

Categories: Ferguson, Police

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Facebook via Hunt For Justice
Christopher Hunt, director of Hunt of Justice, welcomed Darren Wilson to speak to law enforcement supporters last weekend.
A St. Louis non-profit that raises funds for police officers' legal funds welcomed a very special guest to its annual trivia night on Saturday -- former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

Hunt for Justice director Christopher Hunt, who is also an officer with the St. Charles County Police Department, tells Daily RFT that Wilson made some brief remarks to open the organizations' yearly gala. According to Hunt, there is no recording of Wilson's remarks, but Hunt says Wilson did not mention anything about Ferguson.

Although Hunt For Justice has contributed an undisclosed sum to Wilson's legal defense in the past, Hunt says the funds collected Saturday will not go Wilson, and that he was not compensated in any way for speaking. Hunt declined to provide a dollar amount for how much money was raised during the trivia night.

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After Suspension, St. Louis Cop Indicted for Delivering Shotgun to Drug Dealers

Categories: Police

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via YouTube
A former SLMPD officer is accused of handing drug dealers a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with a pistol grip, similar to the shotgun pictured here.
Amid a renewed national fixation on Ferguson, you may have missed the dramatic scandal now brewing inside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

News outlets citing anonymous police sources report that the indictment of a recently-suspended SLMPD officer is just the tip of the iceberg of a criminal investigation into a local drug ring. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that as many as twenty civilians and several officers may be involved. So far, the investigation has focused on one former SLMPD patrolman: Don McGhee.

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St. Louis Police Commander Charged for Pulling Double Duty As Dirt Cheap Security

Categories: Police

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Google Maps
Need police assistance? Just run into a Dirt Cheap liquor store and start screaming for help.
For more than a year, Norman R. Campbell, a twenty-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, was working hard and hardly working.

Yes, at the same time.

That's the conclusion of a police investigation into Campbell's on-the-job performance, which resulted yesterday in a felony charge for stealing $5,899.78 from the department. According to a police spokesperson, Campbell is accused of secretly working security for Dirt Cheap Company, the local liquor-store chain known for its wacky commercials, at the same time he was supposed to be on duty as commander of the county police's Dellwood detail.

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Moline Acres Police Start Giving Out "Cop Cards," Like Baseball Cards for Cops

Categories: Police

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NLEC
Next time Officer Adam Stevens pulls you over, ask for his card.
Gotta catch 'em all.

Moline Acres police will announce at a press conference today that officers will start carrying "cop cards," which resemble baseball cards, in a new effort to improve relationships between police and the community, especially with young people.

Reverend Larry Rice, who runs the New Life Evangelistic Center, says he pitched the idea to local police departments after hearing about a similar program in Vancouver. Moline Acres is the first city to take him up on the idea.

"The biggest problem we have in this area is the big gap that exists between police and youth, particularly African American youth," Rice tells Daily RFT. Especially after last year's unrest in Ferguson, Rice says, the St. Louis area needs a creative way to connect youth and police. "We've got to do things differently than what we are doing right now. We've become infamous around the world, and we continue to do things in a bad way."

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St. Louis Cop Turns Off Dash Camera After Suspect is Kicked and Tasered [VIDEO]

Categories: Police

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Post-Dispatch, Fox 2
St. Louis cops beat a man during a traffic stop in April -- but they didn't want the camera on.
"Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."

Those are the last audible words captured by a police dash camera before the footage goes silent. Eight seconds later, the entire feed goes dark.

Taken during an April traffic stop, the video is now at the center of an excessive-force lawsuit filed last month against four St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers. Not only that, but the officer who warned her fellow cops that they were "red right now" -- that is, a camera was recording their actions -- may soon face disciplinary action for compromising police evidence.

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Mom Searches for Witnesses Who Saw SLMPD Shoot Stephon Averyhart

Categories: Police

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Danny Wicentowski
Stacey Hill, the mother of Stephon Averyhart, handed out flyers Thursday in the area where her son was shot and killed by two St. Louis metro cops last year.
After he died, there were no protests for Stephon Averyhart.

Shot by two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers on February 12, 2014, the death of the 27-year-old mechanic made a slight blip on local news outlets, and those reports relied on a police press release to describe Averyhart's final moments -- how he fled a traffic stop, led police on a brief chase, crashed his blue 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix into a telephone pole, ran down an alley and was shot dead. The two officers who chased after Averyhart claimed he pointed a gun at them.

On Thursday, the one-year anniversary of his death, Averyhart's mother Stacey Hill and a handful of his friends gathered at a parking lot on the corner of West Florrisant Avenue and Union Boulevard, right across the street from the imposing sprawl of Calvary Cemetery. Hill chose the location intentionally, knowing that her son's friends still try to avoid area where Averyhart died, just a few blocks away.

"I went there the day they killed my son," says Hill, clutching a stack of flyers printed with Averyhart's face one side and information about the shooting on the back. "I don't have a problem going up there."

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