Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What the Post-Dispatch Didn't Tell You

Last night, the Metropolitan Police Department responded to late afternoon questions asked by a Post-Dispatch reporter relative to an article in today’s edition of the Post-Dispatch.

Below you will read our response.

For whatever reason, the Post-Dispatch chose not to include our side of the encounter or the fact that contact with officers was approximately 20 minutes.

Below is a summary of what occurred when Cortez Cooper visited the Records Division -

Today, Cortez Cooper went to the Records Division here at Police Headquarters to obtain a records check.  In doing so, Cortez Cooper stated his identity as part of the process to obtain the records information he was seeking. Per department policy, the individual requesting the records check is processed through the criminal justice system to determine if they have any outstanding warrants. During this time, Cortez Cooper never informed or showed the clerk who was assisting him the court order.

When the clerk ran Cortez Cooper's information, outstanding warrants for Cecil Cooper were revealed (Cecil Cooper has been arrested using Cortez Cooper's name and birthdate, so his name serves as an alias for Cortez Cooper). During the investigation, 4th District Officers were summoned to the Records Division to arrest the wanted suspect. 

Upon arrival to Police Headquarters, the officers went to the Records Division to conduct their investigation of the wanted suspect. The officers explained to the suspect why he was being detained, and at no time did he indicate to officers that he was in possession of a court order that would verify his true identity. While the officers were talking to the suspect, his mother was allowed access to the Records Division to check on him. The mother encountered the officers and the suspect and asked what was going on.  As the officers explained the situation to the mother, she told the officers that the suspect was Cortez Cooper, not Cecil Cooper.  The mother also stated that Cortez had a court order and identification in his possession to prove that he was not the wanted suspect, Cecil Cooper.  The officers asked Cortez Cooper why he had not revealed that information to them, and he did not have an answer.  Once the court order and identification of Cortez Cooper was presented to the officers he was released.

This entire process took 20 minutes for officers to ascertain Cortez Cooper's identity.

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