St. Louis Police Officer Lit a Cigar While Straddling Suspect

The department is investigating the incident, which was captured on video

May 15, 2024 at 6:00 am
A St. Louis Police officer can be seen in the now-viral video lighting up a stogie.
A St. Louis Police officer can be seen in the now-viral video lighting up a stogie. SCREENSHOT

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has launched an internal investigation in response to a video taken over the weekend showing an officer light up a stogie in the middle of placing a man under arrest. 

That video, originally posted by Voice of the People News, shows the officer pinning the detained man on the ground with his knee. The officer has one hand on the man’s chest and the other on a cigar. 

At one point in the brief video, another cop hands the officer a lighter, which he then uses to light up. Though the detained man makes a minor effort to free himself, the officer doesn’t let that get in the way of a good smoke. 

Mitch McCoy, director of SLMPD’s Public Affairs and Information Division, says that the department is aware of the video and the purpose of its internal investigation is to figure out “what led up to the video and the events that transpired after.” He said the officer was working a secondary job at Marquee Lounge on Locust Street at the time of the incident. 

Prior to the moments captured on video, lounge staff had asked that the detained man be removed from the establishment. He was later taken into custody for trespassing on private property and resisting arrest, McCoy says. However, it appears any charges are still pending, as no one has been charged with those specific offenses in the city since Saturday.

After Voice of the People posted the footage to their Instagram account, it racked up almost a quarter million views as of last night. 

At one point in the video, the man about to be taken into custody says something about how he also has a lighter. 

"Pull your lighter out, bro," a bystander shouts, while laughing. He then rethinks his advice. "No, don't pull it out. They might think you got a gun."

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