CHARLACK • St. Louis County police opened a criminal investigation Thursday into whether police officers from some department — possibly even their own — kicked in the teeth of a handcuffed prisoner in Charlack during an incident May 18.
Allegations of abuse surfaced in a federal civil rights civil lawsuit filed in St. Louis last week by Launcelot Samuel against three Pine Lawn and Charlack officers and their cities.
Questions arose this week of whether Samuel’s suit makes allegations against the right people.
Both of the accused Pine Lawn officers — Henry Trautwein and Brandon Lange — told the Post-Dispatch that neither they nor any officers from their department were even present after Charlack police called for assistance in investigating men in a vehicle outside a convenience store.
Samuel, 22, of Bridgeton, admitted in an interview Thursday that he ‘sprinted” from a Charlack officer who had approached a friend’s vehicle. But he said he committed no crime and did not resist arrest. He said he was on the ground, handcuffed, when officers kicked him in the face and elsewhere, breaking three teeth and causing bruises and abrasions.