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Internet Video Leads to Firing of Missouri Cop

Posted on Sep 21, 2007

It wasn’t quite the episode of “COPS” that the St. George, Missouri police force would want the world to see: A resourceful youngster, one Brett Darrow, 20, turned the camera on Sgt. James Kuehnlein as the officer threatened and cursed at him in the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 7. Now Kuehnlein’s in trouble.

In a video that was widely viewed on the Internet, Kuehnlein is heard taunting and threatening Darrow, sometimes shouting and using profanity.

“It’s what I wanted the whole time,” Darrow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The conduct was not forgivable.”

Police Chief Scott Uhrig said he recommended that Kuehnlein be fired based both on his language in the tape and because he violated department policy when he failed to tape the encounter himself with his police car’s camera.

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By John Borowski, September 24, 2007 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I look at Kuehnlein, I see a man that has battle fatigue. The average moron can’t see this. (This includes psychiatrists and psychologists) How would you like going for years and years in a job that punishes you with extreme stress. You approach a vehicle for a legitimate reason. You think does he have a gun; will he try to kill me? In the dark, he reaches for something, is it his gun, or is it a pack of cigarettes. If it’s a gun, I’m dead and my wife and children will never see me again. If it’s a chrome pen or metal cigarette case and I shoot him all my efforts to be respected and accumulate an honorable record on the police force will go down the drain in a trice. In my opinion, most police officers know that 9 out of 10 people they confront will be criminals or other garbage in our society. It’s rare that a police officer will stop a person for no reason. A person will be confronted by the police for things from pissing in public on up to murder. I know there are some bad apples in the police force like there are some bad apples in religious organizations. The police force has bad apples, but I don’t think Kuehnlein is one of them. The mere fact that he is a sergeant tells me he has won the respect of his peers. The action of the police chief Scott Uhrig and the aldermen is in my opinion “a save my ass” at the expense of a man doing his duty. This is in my opinion a disgraceful act. Unfortunately, most people are too ignorant to understand this. This is the same reason that the moron public will be enticed to vote Republican (Also know as Conservatives right-wingers) because they appeal to their greed, immaturity, and ignorance. If this Darrow was in fact, there for some criminal doing it becomes even more of a tragedy.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 23, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

102146 by John Borowski on 9/23 at 4:51 am

“The thing I don’t understand is why Darrow would park at night in a relatively empty parking lot. There apparently was a great deal of crime being perpetrated in that lot. This is probably the reason Kuehnleirn was staked out at that location. The thing that doesn’t compliment Darrow’s innocence is he apparently had a previous brush with the law. One doesn’t go to a parking lot with out reason.”

Oh shit, I must have crossed into Iran…. No, still The USA, so why is what a person does legally suspect?

Reasons for parking in a deserted parking at night.

Wanted to use cell phone without being a danger.

Tired so pulled off the road for a nap

Just bought a burger and shake at Mickey D’s and couldn’t balance them and eat at the same time.

Likes to look at the stars

Waiting for a friend

car trouble

Taking a piss

and about a gazillion other possibilities.

I often stop in deserted parking lots to rest, piss, read the paper. 

HOWEVER were I harassed for this action, I would have told Sgt. James Kuehnlein that I was praying, and he was violating my rights.

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By Outraged, September 23, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

RE: #102146 by John Borowski on 9/23

You say:
“It’s true that Kuehnlein is taunting, and acting very unprofessional”

No, he was not “unprofessional” it’s ILLEGAL, he was verbally abusive, used intimidation tactics, and threatened this citizen with arrest.  Which, had he done it, would have been an illegal arrest.  Again, you’re sugar-coating this officer’s illegalities.

Even if there had been trouble in the area prior to this, it could’ve been unbeknownst to Darrow.  If he knew there had been trouble there, to make the implication that Darrow had something to do with it, is a stretch.  Simply sitting in a parking lot, assuming its not private property, is not illegal.  You’re jumping to conclusions without any basis for your implication other than he was there.

Many people will sit in the parking lots of parks and such to kill some time, take a break, or eat between appointments, jobs or what have you.  You state: “One doesn’t go to a parking lot with out reason.”  Yes, they do.  What makes you think they don’t, maybe you don’t, but that is neither here nor there.

Then you claim: “The thing that doesn’t compliment Darrow’s innocence is he apparently had a previous brush with the law.”  Well, if this is true, then possibly this officer was harassing Darrow, which again is against the law.
If the rest of the department is anything like Officer Kuehnlein, it certainly wouldn’t be hard to have a “brush with the law” now would it.  I mean all you’d have to do is sit in a parking lot in your vehicle!

This officer has been allowed to hide behind his badge, as if HIS breaking of the law is justifiable.  Not only is it not justifiable but the fact that he is an officer of the law, there to protect the public, makes it MORE reprehensible not LESS.

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By John Borowski, September 23, 2007 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s true that Kuehnlein is taunting, and acting very unprofessional towards Darrow. The thing I don’t understand is why Darrow would park at night in a relatively empty parking lot. There apparently was a great deal of crime being perpetrated in that lot. This is probably the reason Kuehnleirn was staked out at that location. The thing that doesn’t compliment Darrow’s innocence is he apparently had a previous brush with the law. One doesn’t go to a parking lot with out reason.

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By boggs, September 22, 2007 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

I thought it was great that Darrow thought to tape this lawless officer.
Remember in the seventies during Nam how the cops got such a PIG reputation by all the young people? It seems we are there again. The same era. Cops, many are nasty spirited and short tempered. You would think they were just home for a few days from Iraq and learning their leave is cut short.
It seems they all love using the stun guns. Excessively and when the situation clearly does not call for it.
I don’t know who has them so pissed off, but clearly they shouldn’t be on duty.

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By Concerned Citizen in AZ, September 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This former officer should be brought up on criminal charges.

Not to mention that he violated the very constitution of this nation upon which he is sworn to uphold.

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By Cholo, September 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” I don’t have to have a reason to pull you over…”

America, what a country!
Power to punish those who can defend themselves.

This guy probably failed the entrance examination to become a Blackwater mercenary, but definitely he is part of the ‘moral majority’ that votes for George Bush and the rest of the scum republicans who are raping this country.

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By Outraged, September 22, 2007 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Another example of an abusive person in a position of authority.  I’m glad they fired this abuser, but this sugar-coated “not following procedure” and “his language” is absurd.  Sounds like well.., he made a mistake by “not following procedure” and used “bad language”.........c’mon!  This officer was clearly verbally abusing this young adult, using imtimidation tactics without warrant and outright lying to a citizen he is there to PROTECT.  I would love to see what this criminal abuser put in the police report, likely more lies.  Don’t police officers take an oath and aren’t police reports public records and isn’t it against the law to LIE on the reports that they write and sign.

Obviously, getting fired for these “infractions” will allow him to be rehired by the same department or another one.  After all, he didn’t break the law, not according to their estimation.  He should have been brought up on criminal charges and fired to boot.  Instead, he gets a slap on the wrist and sent on his way.  Looks like there’s 99% tolerance for police illegalities. ZERO PERCENT TOLERANCE for you and I.

If police break the law to enforce the law, there is no law.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 22, 2007 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s a cop, what do you expect!  Police (mostly) have behaved in this manner for the 50+ years I have been watching. In LA (Rodney King) in New York (Abner Louima) In Patterson New Jersey (Rubin Carter) On the Pine Ridge Reservation (Jeanette Bissonette) and

and… on infinitum.

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By 911truthdotorg, September 21, 2007 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment


We ALL need to install cameras and microphones in our vehicles to combat the fascist police - and it’s only going to get worse as The Constitution is destroyed further.

Get this:

POLICE STATE, USA Highway checkpoint asks drivers for blood, saliva Travelers outraged by private research group’s request Posted: September 20, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Motorists in Colorado are expressing outrage over a weekend stunt in Gilpin County, about an hour’s drive west of Denver, where highway checkpoints were set up so a private organization could ask for samples of blood and saliva.

“I don’t think they’re authorized to do what they’re doing, and I view it as a gross violation of law-enforcement protocol,” Roberto Sequeira, 51, told reporters for the Denver Post.

He said he and his wife were “detained” for about 15 minutes even after they protested they wanted to get home because of a sleepy child in their car.

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By RAE, September 21, 2007 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Police officers who conduct themselves in this manner should be subject to whatever disciplinary action is warranted upon conviction… PLUS 10 years in jail.

This should be a ZERO tolerance offence anywhere that isn’t a police state.

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By R.M., September 21, 2007 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanx to Mr. Darrow for removing a dangerous and unstable bastard from the roads in Missouri.  I’ll feel a little more safe since I have to go here occasionally.

It was obvious his blinker was on both times he turned.

Someone in authority should use their imagination to come up with a few appropriate charges to file against that ex-cop.  This should disqualify him from ever owning a firearm.

Professionally done Mr. Darrow!

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