NATIONAL NEWS

A police SUV slammed into a bar in St. Louis. Police response drawing scrutiny

Dec 21, 2023, 9:02 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are pledging a thorough investigation after a police SUV slammed into a bar. But supporters of the bar question why one of the owners was arrested in the aftermath of the accident, while the officers in the SUV were not tested for intoxication.

No one was hurt early Monday when the police car struck the front of Bar:PM in south St. Louis but the front window was smashed. Video footage released Wednesday by Javad Khazaeli, the attorney for the bar owners, showed what he said was the same police SUV running a red light seconds before the crash. Another video showed the SUV suddenly veer into the building.

A message left Thursday with police was not immediately returned.

Chad Morris, who owns the bar with his husband, was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrest for allegedly striking an officer after the crash, then trying to run away. He was released from jail Tuesday. Supporters packed the bar that night.

Police Lt. Col. Renee Kriesmann said during a news briefing Wednesday that the officers involved in the crash were not tested for drugs or alcohol because other officers at the crash scene did not have reasonable suspicion of impairment, as required by department policy for toxicology testing.

Both officers have less than a year of experience with the department and remain on active duty, Kriesmann said.

“We would like to ensure to the owners of the bar and the community that every aspect of this incident is being thoroughly investigated,” Kriesmann said.

But Khazaeli questioned if the officers were getting special treatment.

“If I crashed into a building, while speeding, after midnight, after running a stop light, there is no way that I could have a co-worker decide that I should not get a breathalyzer,” Khazaeli wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Security camera video from the opposite side of the street from the bar, released by Khazaeli earlier this week, showed the police SUV on a mostly desolate street suddenly swerve across the center line and slam into the front of the bar. Kriesmann said the officer driving the SUV was distracted while adjusting the radio and then swerved to avoid hitting a parked car.

Khazaeli has claimed the SUV was speeding, but Kriesmann said it was going about 40 mph (64 kph) before the accident and 20 mph (32 kph) upon impact, according to the black box in the vehicle that records data.

The officers were wearing body cameras but police declined to release footage, citing the ongoing investigation. The SUV did not have a dash camera, police said.

National News

Associated Press

After rare flash flood emergency, Florida prepares for more heavy rainfall in coming days

A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida as residents prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s downpours and subsequent flooding blocked roads, floated vehicles and delayed the Florida Panthers on their way to Stanley Cup games in Canada against the Edmonton Oilers. The […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Arizona man sold firearms to undercover FBI agent for mass shooting, indictment says

PHOENIX (AP) — A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war,” according to a federal grand jury indictment. Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

South Carolina man pleads guilty in federal court to fatally shooting Virginia police officer

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer in southwest Virginia in 2021. Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in state court. The federal counts include drug charges and causing the […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

9 hours ago

A police SUV slammed into a bar in St. Louis. Police response drawing scrutiny