St. Louis officer who fatally shot teen quits amid DWI probe

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 20, 2015 3:22 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. last fall has resigned after being accused of driving his patrol car while intoxicated and crashing into a parked vehicle.

Officer Jason Flanery was driving his squad car early Saturday morning when he struck a vehicle and left the scene before officers arrived, police spokeswoman Schron Jackson told The Associated Press.

Investigators, acting on a tip, found the vehicle at Flanery's home, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kaIpmU ) reported. Flanery refused to submit to a breath-alcohol test, so the department requested a search warrant and officers returned to his home later in the day to have his blood drawn, Jackson said.

"We handled the criminal investigation just as we would anyone in a suspected drunk-driving accident," Police Chief Sam Dotson told the newspaper late Saturday evening.

Flanery was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, Jackson said. He was released pending application for warrants, and has not been charged. Flanery's attorney, Brian Millikan, declined to comment.

Officers are not allowed to drive their cars except to and from their shifts. Flanery was not on duty at the time of the incident, Jackson said.

The white officer was off-duty and working an after-hours security job when he shot Myers on Oct. 8, 2014 — two months after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Police said Myers, who is black, fired several shots at Flanery and was killed when the officer returned fire. Myers' family has long disputed that version of the events.

Myers' death added to already heightened tensions over police and civilian relations in the region, but the circuit attorney's office announced in May that Flanery would not be charged.