St. Louis County Police Accused of Covering Up Surveillance Camera

St. Louis County police officers have been caught covering a surveillance camera in a MetroLink security office eight times.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County police have come under scrutiny for not properly patrolling the North Hanley MetroLink during 4th of July weekend.

A federal Homeland Security law enforcement officer who was assigned to Metro transit patrol during that time claims to have at one point witnessed 12 St. Louis County police officers just standing around.

A resulting surveillance footage check showed county police officers loitering in the North Hanley security office instead of patrolling trains or platforms and at one point, covering the surveillance camera with an envelope and tape.

According to records obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the camera inside the MetroLink substation that serves the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Express Scripts has been covered by county police officers at least eight times since 2015.

Unlike the cameras on platforms, the camera in the North Hanley security office isn’t regularly monitored.

However if complaints are made, officers pull the footage, which is how Metro officials discovered at least eight instances of the camera being covered.

These incidents have come at a time when Metro officers have been unable to enforce laws due to legal threat from both county Police Chief Jon Belmar and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Those county officials allege that the Metro officers — all of whom have Class A peace officer licenses through the state of Missouri — lack the proper legal authority to enforce the law.

St. Louis County police have since responded to the allegations, saying they are the result of “politics and infighting.”

They also say the security camera at the North Hanley MetroLink substation (that documented the eight instances of camera covering) is improperly placed in a “private room.”

“A limited number of carefully selected images from over a two-and-a-half-year period that were pulled from an improperly-placed surveillance camera in a 12×14 private room appeared with the article,” says police spokesman Sgt. Shawn McGuire. “This room is used to monitor security cameras, hold briefings and complete report writing. It is also the only room officers have to take breaks from work and weather as well as change clothes and equipment at the end of a shift.”

 

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