published Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Officer in Missouri who pointed gun at protesters suspended

  • photo
    A protester stands in the street after police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd on Aug. 17, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

FERGUSON, Mo. — A police officer who was part of the effort to keep peace during protests in Ferguson has been suspended for pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at demonstrators, then cursing and threatening to kill one of them, police said Wednesday.

A protester captured the exchange on video that has been posted to YouTube and several websites. It happened Tuesday night during the latest of several protests that have followed the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

On the video, a man is heard saying, "Oh my God! Gun raised!" as the officer approaches. The identity of the man who shot the video is not known.

"My hands are up, bro! My hands are up!" the man said.

The officer walks near the man with his gun pointed and appears to say, "I will (expletive) kill you."

St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said the officer is with the police department in St. Ann, another St. Louis County town near Ferguson. His name hasn't been released. Messages seeking comment from St. Ann's police chief were not returned.

Schellman said a county police sergeant took immediate action, telling the officer to lower the weapon and escorting him from the area. The officer was suspended indefinitely.

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