20-year-old captures abusive police officer on tape

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A 20-year old male turned the tables on an abusive police officer in St. George, Missouri after he was pulled over inside a commuter parking lot by officer Sgt. James Kuehnlein of the St. George police department.

The St. Louis, Missouri man, Brett Darrow, 20, had installed a hidden camera inside his car, much like the way some police officers do, and caught the entire incident on tape. Darrow then posted the video on the internet on places like YouTube.com.

In the beginning of the nearly 13 minute video, the police officer states that Darrow was being pulled over because his vehicle "seemed suspicious." Officer Kuehnlein claims that high crime rates in the lot caused Darrow to be pulled over.

Kuehnlein then asks Darrow to step out of the car and asks to see his ID. Darrow then asks what he did wrong and Kuehnlein then blows up on the boy saying "do you want to try me? Do you want to try me tonight? You think you had a bad night? I will ruin your fucking night. Try me young boy."

Kuehnlein then threatens to send Darrow to jail for "some fucking reason I come up with" and we'll "see who knows the law better. Don't ever get smart mouth with a cop again or I will show you what a cop does." Kuehnlein then begins to threaten Darrow with a list of false charges such as resisting arrest. He can also "come up with nine other things" for every one thing Darrow can come up with. Kuehnlein then tells Darrow that he was being ticketed for not using a turn signal to turn into the lot, but the video clearly proves the officer wrong.

During the entire incident, Darrow barely spoke a word as the officer threatened him saying "I just had a bad night."

Darrow is then allowed to go, but only after Kuehnlein notices the camera, and not before threatening Darrow some more saying "I don't really care about your cameras, 'cause I'm about ready to tow your car, then we can tear 'em all apart."

After the video was posted on the internet, people from all over started to call the police department and complain about the officers actions.

"I was very displeased when I saw the actions on the video. My officers are not trained and taught to act like that," said Scott Uhrig, chief of the St. George police who added "someone either violated the law or they didn't. You don't say, I'll lock you up and then come up with why afterward."

Darrow states that he did not take the video to the police chief because he thought the whole thing would be forgotten and "swept under the rug. I wanted everybody to see that this kind of stuff does happen."

Pending an investigation of the incident, Kuehnlein was suspended without pay.


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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.