No mother should ever have to bury their own son. The accidental overdose of Omar Rahman, age 28, was a painful enough experience for Kim Staton, Omar’s mother. In a time of mourning, she shouldn’t have had to see pictures of the police on scene, posing and joking with her dead son’s body. Someone leaked the photo of a police officer holding up Omar’s lifeless arm and giving the camera a big thumbs up.
The North County Police Cooperative, located in St Louis County Missouri, was the source of the photo. Police Chief Tim Swope advised the media that the department is conducting an internal affairs investigation to determine what exactly went on that day. The news station, who published the photo, was threatened by a lawyer for the department, after they showed the image on television. The lawyer for the department stated “NCPC does not believe it is appropriate to comment on the matter,” as they have indicated the photo in question was “stolen” and is currently under investigation in two separate cases. The second is obviously meant to determine the source of the leak. The department lawyers sent the news station a threatening letter advising them they were in possession of stolen property and that they were to turn them over. Fortunately, the news station didn’t comply, and now the photo is available for all the world to see.
While acts of police misconduct that make their way to YouTube typically involve violence and sometimes death, much more subtle acts of misconduct occur on a daily basis in police departments. While this act of barbarity seems like it would be the exception, police behave in deplorable ways when they think no one is looking. Another recent case had a man filming police arrested for trumped up charges. His cell phone captured the officers talking about ‘covering their asses’ and finding something to charge him with. The result was public outrage. The reality is, this kind of behavior is the norm, not the exception. It is only recently we have had the opportunity to peek behind the blue curtain.
Kim Staton is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her son, and why the police acted so egregiously and unprofessionally when handling her son’s death investigation. She has not yet advised of any lawsuit, however, in the modern culture of police misconduct, a lawsuit is inevitable. “I really don’t know, actually, what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face.” Staton, like the public, has not been told the identity of the officer in the photo, and the failure to release such information should be a pretty convincing tell that little to nothing will come of any internal investigation. As usual, the only justice the family will ever see is in the civil courts.
Sources: Google Docs, Cop Block.
This article (St Louis Cop Caught Posing and Joking with Overdose Victim, Family Outraged as Police Close Ranks) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.
Dox the officer, post his face…the identity of scum bag criminals will always come out.