Lawyer claims St. Louis police ran red light seconds before bar crash

On Wednesday night, the lawyer for two bar owners shared a video that he claims shows a police SUV running a red light just seconds before crashing into the couple’s south St. Louis pub.

The video was captured at a stoplight just three seconds before the SUV collided with Bar: PM on South Broadway. The same person who provided prior footage of the incident gave it to attorney Javad Khazaeli on Wednesday evening, Khazaeli claimed.

“I just don’t understand how today the police department could act like nothing really happened,” Javad Khazaeli said in an interview Wednesday evening. “If any other citizen were to go through a red light, lose control, and crash into a building, they would be investigated.”

Following the crash, Chad Morris, the 37-year-old co-owner of Club: PM, a renowned gay club in the city’s Carondelet neighborhood, was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrest.

Lt. Col. Renee Kriesmann of the St. Louis Police Department said Wednesday that the officers who crashed into the bar were not tested for drugs or alcohol because other officers investigating the crash did not have a reasonable suspicion of impairment, as department procedure requires toxicology tests.

The two cops in the car, both of whom have been on the force for less than a year, are still on active duty, according to Kriesmann.

Lawyer claims St. Louis police ran red light seconds before bar crash

“We want to assure the bar owners and the community that every aspect of this incident is being thoroughly investigated,” Kriesmann said during a weekly media briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

In a series of social media posts on Wednesday evening, Khazaeli shared an additional video of what seems to be a police SUV running a red light at East Nagle Avenue and South Broadway, just 250 feet from Bar: PM. The video’s timestamp is barely seconds before the timestamp on another video showing a police SUV ramming into the bar.

Morris’ husband, another co-owner of the pub, was temporarily handcuffed after coming outside to confront cops following the incident, and the situation deteriorated when Morris arrived and wanted to know why his partner was handcuffed. Morris was accused of pushing an officer and fleeing.

However, Khazaeli said that police were the aggressors in that interaction, and on Wednesday he claimed that they failed to properly investigate the incident by not doing things like measuring the length of skid marks. He also stated that the police’s account of how the collision occurred changed three times.

According to the attorney, police initially informed Morris’ husband, James Pence, that they swerved to avoid hitting a dog in the road. Pence quickly modified their account, claiming they swerved to avoid a parked automobile. The driver was then distracted by the in-car radio, according to authorities, and when he looked up, he overcorrected and crashed into the building.

According to the car’s black box, which stores important data points connected to collisions, Khazaeli claimed the SUV was “flying” before the crash, but Kriesmann stated Wednesday the SUV was moving 40 mph before the crash and 20 mph when it hit the building.

“I just know that no other group of people would be able to avoid a breathalyzer,” Khazaeli explained Wednesday evening.

The cops were carrying body cameras, according to Kriesmann, but police will not disclose the film due to the pending criminal prosecution against the pub owner. The SUV lacked a dashboard camera.

“Our current concern is fighting these criminal charges,” Khazaeli explained. “If they decide to dismiss the criminal charges, then we can focus on their internal investigation.”

Police did not react immediately to a request for comment on Khazaeli’s latest allegations.

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