A shocking video shows the moment a St. Ann Police detective broke a car window with his forearm before dragging a man through it to arrest him following a car chase in a St. Louis suburb.
The incident, captured by a bystander, unfolded Tuesday when the St. Ann Police Department said it was involved in a chase that began in St. Peters, Missouri, came through their jurisdiction, local station KMOV4 reported. The car was wanted for a traffic violation, and a license plate check revealed there was a warrant associated with the car.
St. Peters police attempted to stop the car for a traffic citation, but the driver kept going. That’s when St. Ann police stepped in.
Once the driver stopped, a St. Ann officer and three backup officers approached the vehicle and ordered the passengers inside to get out. Authorities said one of the men didn’t comply and refused to put up his hands, unlock the door and exit the vehicle.
Footage shot by a witness, however, shows the man with his hands raised and in plain sight as a detective approaches the passenger’s side window. The detective then delivers several blows to the glass, shattering it before yanking the man by his collar and dragging him through the broken chards.
“That’s abuse!” the man behind the camera shouts. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it on tape. That’s abuse!”
Authorities dragged the man to ground and ordered him onto his stomach so that he could be placed in handcuffs.
Footage of the incident has been widely circulated online, prompting angry reactions from viewers who accused officers of using brutal and excessive force.
“This man did nothing!” one Twitter user wrote. “St. Ann Police allow their PO to terrorize innocent people! They should all be fired.”
“What did this young man do that warranted him being dragged so barbarically over broken glass???” another asked. “He had his hands up! Even the police officer couldn’t open his door. These officers are extreme and violent.”
One user argued the detective must “be high on something more than power,” considering the force with which he broke the window.
Despite the backlash, St. Ann police has defended the actions of the officer, arguing the use of force was necessary to ensure the safety of officers and others in the area. Authorities said they also had to make sure there were no weapons in the car after a passenger was allegedly seen trying to reach under the seat, police Chief Aaron Jiminez said.
The man taken into custody wasn’t abused, punched or kicked at any time, according to the department. A woman who was driving also was arrested, as was a passenger in the back seat.