UMSL denies campus police acted improperly
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – An altercation nearly a month ago between University of Missouri – St. Louis campus police and a 46-year-old student disc jockey has the student claiming brutality and the police saying they were acting properly.
University spokesman Bob Samples says police received a call the evening of November 17th about a female student, also a volunteer at the student radio station, in extreme emotional crisis — so much so, he says, that staff feared she might harm herself.
Student disc jockey Brian Massey was also there, was asked to leave, and did not.
It’s at this point that the similarities between the two sides end.
UMSL spokesman Bob Samples says officers had been told that an earlier interaction between the two students might be the reason for the female student’s emotional problems. Samples says building and radio station officials asked Massey to leave and, when he refused, two officers were asked to intercede.
Samples says Massey grabbed the right wrist of an officer and was told he was under arrest.
Police say, as Massey was being handcuffed, he swung around and tried to strike an officer.
Massey was subdued and Samples says one officer was injured. Massey says he was kicked and punched.
After Massey was arrested, county prosecutors charged him with one felony count of resisting arrest and four related misdemeanor charges.
Massey says he’s a criminal justice student at UMSL and is trained to oppose injustice. He claims he “spent the next three days handcuffed and then shackled to a hospital bed”.
Massey was eventually released on bond with his student status restored. He’s back on campus and attending class.
UMSL Police Chief Forrest Van Ness says he’s conducting an internal investigation under the department’s Use of Force policy.
The chief says, when the investigation is complete, it will be forwarded to an outside law enforcement agency for review and recommendations.
Massey claims the charges were trumped up and says he needs to have his name cleared.
Meantime, a sit-in is scheduled for Monday morning just one floor below where the altercation took place.
Massey says he’ll attend and urges all those there to remain peaceful.
A Facebook page titled “UMSL Police Went Too Far!” has appeared along with an online petition.
(Copyright KMOX News)