We’re the only ones conspiring to commit murder enough…

Brett Darrow, who has been all over the blogosphere lately for using a video camera to defend himself from an out-of-control police officer, had good reason to carry a camera with him.

From The Newspaper:

The messages appeared on St. Louis CopTalk, a site that describes itself as a site “for the use of law enforcement officers employed by the St. Louis Police Department and their supporters in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.” While it has no official ties to the city, it does allow officers to log into official police email accounts from the front page. In June of this year, Darrow had sparked outrage among the forum’s members after he videotaped a disputed traffic stop involving what Darrow argued was a perfectly legal turn and what a Saint Louis police officer said was not.In the course of researching the incident, TheNewspaper learned from an inside source about a CopTalk posting dated June 29, 2007. A user calling himself “STL_FINEST” wrote the following item, presented unedited and in full:

in reply to “Who is this terd?”
I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over – because I will see “his gun” and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs.

We verified the existence of the post which, until some time around July, was publicly available here. It has been deleted. Because the CopTalk forum allows anonymous posting, only the site’s administrator has the ability to confirm the identity of a poster or his status as a law enforcement official. When contacted by TheNewspaper this week, the forum owner had no comment beyond, “Sorry, the posting log I have access to only contains the most recent 300 messages, and that particular message cycled off some time ago.”

Still, participants did not disavow the posting. Instead, another added, “I’m going to his house to check for parking violations.” We informed Darrow of the existence of the messages, but withheld publication not wishing to interfere with an expected investigation into officers’ behavior at the well-publicized traffic stops. To our knowledge, no such investigation was ever made.

Furthermore…

The evidence shows that law enforcement problems extend far beyond the tiny geographic boundaries of 1300 resident city and that Darrow’s video may have wide-reaching effects. The young driver’s encounters with Saint Louis area police began in March 2005 when an intoxicated, off-duty police officer threatened to kill him. Darrow escaped only to find himself arrested hours later. The city agreed to drop all charges against him on the condition that he waive his right to sue over the incident. The following year, a Saint Louis officer at a DUI roadblock said he would, “find a reason to lock you up tonight” (view video and story). This is in addition to Sergeant Kuehnlein’s videotaped threat that, “we will ruin your career and life and everything else you have coming before you.”

Okay, so this indicates to me that the “there are only a few bad apples” theory doesn’t hold much weight in St. Louis. It sounds more like a whole rotten barrel.

Stay vigilant, Mr. Darrow. And always carry a spare battery.

Via Nobody’s Business.

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