Police Officer Under Investigation After Lighting Cigar During Arrest

A St. Louis police officer is under scrutiny following a video that emerged online, depicting him lighting a cigar while straddling a suspect he had detained outside a local nightclub.

The incident unfolded outside the Marquee Restaurant & Lounge in downtown St. Louis, where the officer, whose identity remains undisclosed, was captured on video lighting a cigar with his free hand while keeping the suspect subdued on the ground.

In the footage, witnesses at the scene engage in banter with the officer, offering lighters and joking about potential misinterpretations of their actions. Meanwhile, the suspect attempts to free his hands, prompting the officer to maintain control by restricting his movement.

According to the New York Post, the bystanders and suspect were all heard joking with the police officer that they also had lighters that he could use.

“Pull your lighter out, bro,” a witness who filmed the incident was heard saying. “No, don’t pull it out. They might think you got a gun.”

The officer had been working a secondary job at the nightclub when staff requested his assistance in removing the suspect from the premises. Subsequently, the suspect was apprehended for trespassing on private property and resisting arrest.

The video, initially uploaded to Instagram, quickly gained traction on social media platforms, prompting the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) to launch an internal investigation into the matter. The department aims to ascertain the circumstances leading up to the incident and evaluate the actions of the involved officers.

According to local news outlet KTVI, the department stated that it had opened up the internal investigation into the incident to “better understand the circumstances of the situation, what led up to the video and the events that transpired after.”

While concerns have been raised about the appropriateness of the officer’s conduct, no injuries were reported during the detainment. It remains unclear whether body camera footage captured by responding officers will be released to the public.

The investigation highlights the importance of accountability and transparency in law enforcement practices, ensuring adherence to established protocols and maintaining public confidence in policing.