Special Prosecutor Tim Lohmar has cleared the Florissant police officers who were riding with then-Detective Joshua L. Smith on June 2 of any wrongdoing and will file no criminal charges against them.
Lohmar, the elected prosecutor of St. Charles County, announced this in a brief statement on Wednesday, June 24.
A week before, he charged Smith with 1st Degree Assault, Armed Criminal Action and 4th Degree Assault for driving a Florissant Police SUV into an unarmed man, then kicking and punching him on the ground before cuffing him.
The charge of 1st Degree Assault is a Class A felony. Smith’s bond was set at $50,000.
The assault occurred on June 2 in Dellwood, which is in St. Louis County. But St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell assigned a special prosecutor to the case due to a conflict of interest. Timothy Swope, a Florissant police officer and the son of Bell’s director of operations, was riding in the police SUV when Smith struck the fleeing man.
In a video released by the victim’s attorneys, Swope and the other, as yet unnamed officer are seen darting out of the SUV. They are not seen participating in the assault on the victim, nor do they render assistance to someone who has just been struck by a colleague with a deadly weapon, the SUV. They run off in pursuit of other individuals who fled from the same vehicle the police had been chasing and that the victim exited from before he was assaulted.
Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagen fired Smith after initial protests but did not arrest him. Florissant Mayor Tim Lowery and the police department have been the target of daily protests by the group Respect Us demanding that Smith be arrested and charged. One June 15, Respect Us also began protesting Lohmar.
The St. Louis County Police Department investigated the crime and issued the probable cause statement on which Lohmar based his charges. The police report indicates that the victim suffered a broken ankle.
A different video of the assault was first posted by Real STL News. Cop Blaster was the first to identify the assailant as Detective Joshua L. Smith.
Protests in Florissant and St. Charles have continued, with a series of ugly incidents in Florissant where police in riot gear have maced protestors.