Chief Hayden says allegations that officers lied about attempted carjacking ‘could be construed as a crime’

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 3:56 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The finger-pointing centers around officers’ claims that a man tried carjacking them at gunpoint. The circuit attorney said those claims are a lie. Now, the officers’ attorney is backing the officers and said the department has released a letter that was sent to the Circuit Attorney’s Office.

“My client didn’t know it was on, and it was on for almost four hours. And for four hours, he repeats the same statement over and over and over and over again, saying the same thing happened that he told the prosecuting attorney’s office,” Brian Millikan said.

Millikan represents the two St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers involved in what they’re calling an attempted carjacking. He’s referring to body camera footage on one of the officers that was turned on after the incident. It’s edited footage News 4 has played the past two days. There is also body camera footage and surveillance video from a nearby business.

In the surveillance video, a man named Allen Robinson walks into the street, stops the oncoming, marked police pick-up truck, walks to its passenger side window, and then the truck speeds away. It’s when Robinson is at the passenger side window that officers said he pointed a gun.

“From my client’s statements, he displayed that weapon and pointed it at the passenger,” Millikan said.

On March 19, SLMPD put out an incident report calling the encounter with Robinson an attempted carjacking. Two weeks later, the Office of the Circuit Attorney in the City of St. Louis called it a lie.

“If he had been lying about this, this would’ve come out in numerous ways on bodycam footage that he did not know was recording,” Millikan said.

SLMPD has declined two requests for video. News 4 went back to the circuit attorney’s office to ask if they’d hand over the bodycam video that was not heavily edited. The office has not shared the additional video.

“I think we have a prosecuting attorney’s office that for years has tried to drive a wedge in between the citizens of St. Louis and the police department,” Millikan alleged.

Millikan said the circuit attorney’s office isn’t the only one who’s in the wrong here.

“A department that [the two officers] served for a combined 26 years has refused to come out and make any statement, release any video, whatever’s out there, in support or on their behalf. It’s incredibly disappointing to them,” Millikan said.

There are half a dozen Real Time Crime cameras near the intersection of 12th and Chouteau where the alleged, attempted carjacking took place. Multiple sources have told News 4 some of them captured the March 19 incident. News 4 will reach out again to police for more video of the incident.

Thursday, St. Louis police released a letter that was sent by Police Chief John Hayden to Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. In the letter, Hayden wrote the allegations made in the April 5 press conference that the officers lied “could be construed as a crime.” He also wrote that his department has not found any indication the officers made intentionally misleading statements or committed a crime.

The circuit attorney’s office responded to Hayden’s letter with this comment:

In every case, the Circuit Attorney’s Office is dedicated to ensuring that the office carries out its duty to prosecute criminal cases in a manner that seeks justice rather than just convictions on behalf of the residents of the City of St. Louis.

Office of the Circuit Attorney in the City of St. Louis