ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The violent arrest of a mentally ill man in St. Louis—caught on tape, and given to the Post-Dispatch—is now under investigation.
A tape recorded by the man’s grandson shows one officer hitting 47-year-old Mario Crump with his baton multiple times after Crump, who was seated, kicked the officer’s partner to the ground. The officer who was kicked responded with a punch.
Police Chief Sam Dotson says that he has asked for an inquiry.
“What I’ve done in the department since this incident, in addition to the internal investigation that’s started, is that I’ve asked a captain to look at our crisis intervention training, to identify ways to improve that training if it needs to be improved, and make recommendations,” Dotson says.
Crump’s family called 911 to ask for help, saying he was exposing himself and urinating on the kitchen floor. Dotson says that when the family called for assistance, they mentioned that he might’ve been under the influence of something, but not that he was mentally ill.
Dotson also says that the video only captures 35 seconds of a 20-minute encounter between officers and Crump.
“They’re not psychiatrists, they’re not psychologists, they’re not clinicians,” he says. “They’re police officers. So, to the best of their ability, they tried to bring an individual whose family was calling about him to control and effect an arrest. And that’s what they did.”
The Chief says about 700 officers have been trained to be part of the crisis intervention team.
Crump was charged with resisting arrest and third-degree misdemeanor assault on a law enforcement officer. Court records indicate he has multiple assault convictions among more than 20 previous arrests.
Mike Keller, executive director of the Independence Center, says Crump suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He says Crump broke both his hands and six of his fingers.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)