St Louis Officer Investigated For Lighting Cigar During Arrest

An investigation has been launched by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) after a video surfaced online showing a police officer lighting a cigar while straddling a suspect he had detained outside a nightclub.

The incident, which occurred outside the Marquee Restaurant & Lounge in St. Louis, was captured on video and quickly went viral on social media platforms. In the footage, the officer, who remains unidentified, can be seen with his right arm on the suspect’s chest as he lights the cigar with his free hand.

Witnesses at the scene can be heard joking with the officer about providing a lighter, with one witness cautioning against it due to the risk of misinterpretation. Meanwhile, the suspect, lying on his back, attempts to free his hands, prompting the officer to restrain him further.

According to the New York Post, the bystanders and suspect were all heard joking with the police officer that they also had lighters that he could use.

“Pull your lighter out, bro,” a witness who filmed the incident was heard saying. “No, don’t pull it out. They might think you got a gun.”

The officer had been working a second job at the nightclub when lounge employees requested his assistance in removing the suspect from the premises. Subsequently, the suspect was taken into custody for trespassing on private property and resisting arrest.

Following the circulation of the video, which has garnered over 262,000 views, the SLMPD initiated an internal investigation into the incident. Local news outlet KTVI reported that the department explained that it had opened up the internal investigation into the incident to “better understand the circumstances of the situation, what led up to the video and the events that transpired after.”

Despite concerns raised by the video, no injuries were reported during the arrest. Additionally, it has not been disclosed whether the officers involved were wearing body cameras at the time of the incident or if any footage captured by such cameras will be made public.

The investigation underscores the importance of ensuring the appropriate conduct of law enforcement officers and maintaining public trust in policing practices.

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