Subscribe for 99¢

ST. LOUIS • Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged a St. Louis police officer with a misdemeanor civil rights violation.

The charges say only that on May 5, Officer Kenneth A. Grooms II "while acting under color of law, willfully deprived 'John Doe' of the right, protected and secured by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and laws of the United States, to be free from unreasonable seizure."

There is no other information in charging documents, and no lawyer is listed for Grooms.

A police spokeswoman said that Grooms was "currently employed pending the investigation," and referred other questions to the FBI.

A person with knowledge of the investigation said that Grooms' girlfriend got into a dispute with the John Doe at a restaurant, and called Grooms. He is accused of showing up and identifying himself as a police officer, handcuffing the man and driving him around in his car while berating him over the dispute.

Grooms then released Doe, the person with knowledge of the investigation said.

Robert Patrick is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Breaking News e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.