Concerns about the conduct of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper have led to the dismissal of dozens of suspected criminals as well as the review of hundreds of traffic tickets.
Of course, because police accountability is as elusive as Big Foot, the identity of the trooper involved in the case has not been revealed. Local station KMOV-TV declined to name the trooper because he has not been charged with any crime at this time.
It’s also not clear what conduct was uncovered—only that it caused prosecutors to essentially shut the whole thing down.
“The trooper’s conduct came under scrutiny after several prosecuting attorneys expressed legal and ethical concerns about his conduct during their case assessment and review of dash-cam footage,” the chief warrant officer for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office wrote in a letter to Highway Patrol. “The review of the officer revealed a pattern of unacceptable practices and questionable behavior.”
Prosecutors told the St. Louis City Counselor’s Office in another letter that they had uncovered “repeated instances of undue pressure, factual exaggerations or misstatements of the law, seemingly all aimed at securing admissions or consents-to-search.”
Prosecutors also added that in the cases the trooper was involved in, lab results came back negative, and there was a lack of evidence and search and seizure problems.
As a result of these actions—which only spark curiosity on my part—they have dismissed more than 70 felony and misdemeanor cases and are reviewing the more than 300 traffic tickets dating back to August 2017 that the trooper has written.
The trooper in question has been on the job since July 2016 and was assigned in both St. Louis County and St. Charles County. KMOV has reached out to the officer, but he has reportedly been unresponsive to inquiries.
At any rate, despite all of these apparent issues, looks like the trooper still has a job lined up; KMOV reports that he continues to serve in the area.