Kim Gardner and St. Louis Police Union At Odds Over Officer Bar Shooting

Two officers have been charged after the 2018 shooting at Bomber O'Briens

Kevin Killeen
January 31, 2019 - 6:53 am
Officers Joseph Schmitt (left) and William Olsten

Officers Joseph Schmitt (left) and William Olsten (Photos provided/St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Categories: 

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — St. Louis' top prosecutors and the St. Louis Police Officers Association are trading jabs after two police officers were charged in connection with a shooting on bar parking lot. 

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged two officers in the April 2018 incident outside Bomber O'Briens bar. 

Related: 2 St. Louis Police Officers Charged in 2018 Shooting Outside Bar

One officer was shot while trying to subdue an armed man, and another officer shot and seriously injured the suspect.

"It's devastating...it's devastating for a prosecutor to have to charge any police officer, like its devastating to charge anyone in the community," Gardner told KMOX's Kevin Killeen. "We all are affected by that. So for someone to think this is a great day for the (St. Louis) Prosecutor's Office, this is not."

Police union spokesman Jeff Roorda called the assault charges against officers Joseph Schmitt and William Olsten “an unprecedented abuse of power.”

"Instead of following (the police department's) recommendation instead of paying attention to statements of four police officers and using forensic and video evidence available, she just took the word of a would-be cop killer."

Gardner's response?

"Well, I don't want to respond to something that's so ridiculous," Gardner stated. "He has no credibility, so I'm not going to respond to that. That is false."

And Roorda's response to that?

"She tries to dismiss my comments as not credible, but I represent 1100 police officers and I can tell you nobody has confidence in her ability to do her job and keep this city safe."

This follows Gardner and the union clashing over the investigation into Officer Katlyn Alix's shooting death after she was allegedly killed during a Russian roulette-style game by another officer. 

Related: Funeral for St. Louis Officer Killed in Russian Roulette-style Shooting is Wednesday Morning

"I believe our relationship is going to be what it is: there's always going to be tension between our office and the police department. That's always gonna be there," Gardner stated. "At the same time, we work day in and day out with the men and women of the St. Louis Police Department."

Roorda believes the two sides are in a bad relationship.

"This is a prosecutor that has no trust in the community, no trust from law enforcement, and is in the wrong line of work."

Court documents say the two officers charged were off-duty, in plain clothes and failed to identify themselves as police.