Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speeder Who Busted Cop on Video Leads to Potential Change in St. Louis County

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 7:30 AM

This video shows Lucas Lamb taunting a cop after filming the officer drinking at an MMA fight -- and it could lead to a policy change in St. Louis County.

It's been more than a month since Lucas Lamb got pulled over by an off-duty cop on his way to a MMA match in Fenton, only to catch the very same cop drinking beer at the match before driving off in his patrol car. It's been nearly as long since Lamb first filed a complaint against the cop against in question.

But it looks like Lamb may have finally gotten the attention of the St. Louis County Police Department -- and you can credit that to Lamb's use of a video camera.

A series of videos showing the officer drinking, and then driving away while being taunted by Lamb, quickly went viral after RFT staff writer Nicholas Phillips broke the story on August 31. Lamb's video taunting the cop was picked up by KSDK and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, too.

And as St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the Post-Dispatch on Sunday, the department is now weighing a policy to address the issue of officers drinking while driving their patrol cars. Up 'til this point, there has been no such policy on the books.

And while that wasn't exactly Lamb's original goal in pursuing the matter, he says he's happy to hear that the department is weighing the issue. "It's nice to know that now it may not be legal for them to drink and drive in their patrol cars," he tells Daily RFT. "I was hoping they'd fire the guy. But this is a step in the right direction."

Lamb filed an internal complaint soon after the incident, but decided to share his story after becoming convinced the department wasn't taking the matter seriously. Interviewed by Lt. Matthew O'Neill, Lamb was grilled about the fact that he'd gotten a ticket from the officer he was complaining about. As the 31-year-old Lamb told Phillips in the initial story, "He was thinking I had an agenda...I almost felt like I was the criminal by the time the meeting was over." It didn't help that, even though Lamb gave O'Neill contact information for a friend who was there on the night in question, no one ever followed up.

But what a difference a little media attention can make! Lamb says he's since received a letter from O'Neill saying that the investigation is open and could take up to 90 days, or even longer, for the department to investigate.

"I'm definitely getting a better response from them than I did the first time," Lamb tells us. "He wouldn't be held accountable if not for me taking this to the media. I wouldn't have heard another thing about it."


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