ST. LOUIS • A hearing officer who oversaw a disciplinary hearing for suspended St. Louis patrolman Charles Proctor concluded the officer did not use excessive force during an arrest last summer at the Lumière Place Casino.
The hearing officer, Judy Ronzio, found that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Proctor choked trespassing suspect Jermaine Lacy, struck him with a baton or slammed his head against the bumper of a patrol car while Lacy was handcuffed to a wheelchair.
The July 5 arrest was caught on casino surveillance cameras that showed police and security guards pushing Lacy backward in a wheelchair. A handcuffed Lacy is seen sliding out of the wheelchair. Proctor plants him back in the chair and grabs him around his upper chest.
Ronzio, however, concluded Proctor did violate department policy by using profanity while arresting Lacy, denying using obscene language to his bosses and failing to charge Lacy with resisting arrest.
Her findings are the result of a five-day hearing earlier this year in which Lacy accused Proctor of assaulting him. Lacy, 36, lives in St. Louis.
Lacy, whose criminal history includes a statutory rape conviction, is a self-admitted gambling addict who was detained at the casino July 5 after he argued with another gambler at a craps table. Proctor was called to the casino to take custody of Lacy. Lacy claimed Proctor assaulted him after Lacy taunted the officer about his weight.
Ronzio wrote that Lacy’s testimony was “inconsistent” and “not worthy of belief.”
The city police department wants to fire Proctor. The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners will review Ronzio’s findings and decide if Proctor should be cleared, fined, disciplined or fired.