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Officer Accused Of Excessive Force Cleared, Sergeant In-Charge Retires

Tanya Sinkovits
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Screen shot from youtube video taken on New Year's Day.

Screen shot from youtube video taken on New Year’s Day.

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A St. Louis Police officer caught on camera using what appeared to be excessive force has been cleared of any wrong-doing.

It happened early New Year’s Day at a Shell gas station in South City, the owner and several customers witnessed officer Dustin Ries beat a man, William Ginger, several times with his baton. A video of the violent arrest was then posted on Youtube. (See video here)

Officer Ries was placed on desk duty while the Internal Affairs Division and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office investigated the incident. They found that Ries used the right amount of force under the circumstances. Ginger was apparently “belligerent” and “highly intoxicated”. Ries’ attorney, John Bouhasin says Ginger grabbed Ries and would not let go of him.

Now the veteran police sergeant who ordered officer Ries to release Ginger and not file a report the night of the arrest, has retired “under the threat of discipline over the incident”.

Sgt. Antonio Triplett will retire today after serving 21 years at the St. Louis Police Department. He instructed Ries not to arrest Ginger because of the high volume of calls resulting from New Years Eve celebrations. Triplett’s actions that night were a violation of department policy because no police report was filed.

Sgt. Triplett could have sought a board trial on the results of an internal investigation but retired instead of risking suspension or termination.

The director of the Police Retirement System of St. Louis said Thursday that Triplett will get his pension.

Ries is now considering legal options in pursuing compensation. He received paid desk duty while the investigation was ongoing, however he was suspended from secondary work.


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