A leaked photo of a police officer in St. Louis County posing and giving a thumbs-up with the dead body of a man who had recently overdosed has the man’s mother calling for the police department to answer questions. The North St. Louis County Police Cooperative refuses to say anything and is threatening the publication that obtained the picture, KMOV, with legal action.
“In your mind, is there any reasonable explanation for what that officer was doing?” KMOV asked Rahman's mother, Kim Staton.
“No,” said Staton. “Because when they come to a call, they're supposed to be there to help and protect, not doing what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face.”
“The fact that the photo is out is just problematic, so even if you can't determine the intentions of the officer, which by the photo, look questionable, you certainly are distressed and concerned that it's out in the public,” former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom told KMOV.
North County Police Cooperative Chief Tim Swope, who commands the officer in the picture, refused to answer KMOV's questions and threatened their reporter with legal action if they published the picture—which he refused to look at. KMOV obtained the picture from an anonymous source. He did say there are investigations into both the picture and its leakage.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.