Protesters block street in St. Charles, demand charges against Florissant police officer

By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

ST. CHARLES, Mo (KMOX) - Protestors block a street in St. Charles, calling for charges against the Florissant Police detective caught on video ramming his police vehicle into a man who was running away on foot.

Demonstrators gathered outside the St. Charles courthouse around 2:30 on Tuesday, where local prosecutor Tim Lohmar is deciding whether or not to file charges against the detective. 

The crowd of about 40 protesters blocked the intersection at Adams and N. 2nd Streets, they chanted and some held signs that stated: "Defund the police." 

"We're non-violent, but we won't be peaceful," shouted one man who was leading the group of protesters. "We're gonna keep showing up. We're gonna let our voices be heard."

Lomar says he'll make an announcement about possible charges this week. Some protesters say the charges should include assault or attempted murder. 

Last week, detective Joshua Smith, who was driving the vehicle, was fired. Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan says Smith is a 9-year veteran of the force and had no previous incidents that required an outside investigation.

The incident involving a Florissant officer happened around 11:30 p.m. on June 9 in the north St. Louis County neighborhood of Dellwood. A doorbell camera captured video of it.

The man seen arrested in the video is 20-years-old and suffered an ankle injury in the incident. He was charged with resisting arrest and released. 

"The only instance, as far as I'm concerned, where an officer is justified in using potentially deadly force by using a motor vehicle is if that officer's life is or physical health or that of another is in question," Lomar says.

Lohmar says the three men ran from police after officers pulled the car over. He says the car matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a shots fired incident. He also says police failed to report any use of force in the original report. 

KMOX's Kevin Killeen contributed to this report.
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