Police in Missouri are speaking out days after video surfaced apparently showing officers arrest a man as he holds an infant.
The Riverfront Times reported that the footage was first posted to Facebook Sunday but a repost of the two-minute video quickly went viral. In it, two St. Louis County police officers are seen trying to take a baby from the 24-year-old man’s arms as they take him into custody.
Onlookers can be heard yelling to police to stop grabbing the man as he holds his baby. The baby is heard crying as he is brought to the ground, prompting protest from bystanders, one of which is heard demanding “justice.”
***WARNING: The video below includes explicit language. Please use discretion.***
This just happened roughly about 30 minutes ago (July 7th, 2019) in #StLouisCounty in #NorthCounty near #NewHallsFerry!! Taser pulled on a young man at the bus stop while he was holding his baby and the baby was crying!!😪😪NO I don’t know what happened before this video or what the call went out as for St.Louis County Police to respond.. NOT MY VIDEO THIS A REPOST
Posted by Derk Brown on Sunday, July 7, 2019
St. Louis police released a statement on Facebook Monday stating that the viral video of the July 7 incident was “selectively edited” and doesn’t include the context of the unnamed man’s arrest. They alleged that officers responded to a home where a woman claimed the suspect had assaulted her, damaged property, and left with their child.
Police said they located the man at a nearby bus stop and informed him he was being detained in connection with the domestic violence call. The suspect allegedly ignored verbal commands to comply while placing the child in between himself and the officer.
“A back-up officer arrived on scene to assist and gave several verbal commands for the suspect to release the child and comply. He continued to refuse to comply. The officers used the least amount of force possible to compel the suspect to comply,” the statement read.
While one of the bystanders claimed an officer pulled out a Taser, police said the weapon wasn’t deployed during the incident. St. Louis County Police Department Officer Tracy Panus told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that an arriving officer had pointed the Taser at the man’s back before realizing he was holding a baby. Panus also claimed the officers tried to hold the man upright as he almost laid on his son.
EMTs reportedly checked the baby before giving him back to his mother. Meanwhile, the man in the video was booked into jail on suspicion of domestic assault, property damage, and resisting arrest in addition to numerous outstanding warrants.
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[Featured image: Facebook video screengrab]