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St. Louis Cop Who Fatally Shot VonDerrit Myers Quits Force After DUI Crash

Officer Jason Flanery reportedly crashed his patrol vehicle into another car before fleeing the scene.

by Reuters and VICE News
Dec 21 2015, 4:55pm

Photo by Corwin Deckard/Flickr

The white St. Louis, Missouri police officer who was cleared over the fatal shooting of 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers has quit the police department after allegedly causing an accident while driving his patrol car drunk.

Officer Jason Flanery reportedly hit a vehicle in his squad car just after dawn Saturday morning and then fled the scene before officers arrived, police spokeswoman Schron Jackson told The Associated Press.

Police later found the squad car parked outside Flanery's home and asked the officer to submit to a breath test, which he refused, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.

"We handled the criminal investigation just as we would anyone in a suspected drunk-driving accident," St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told the Dispatch. "When he refused the breath alcohol test, we followed our procedures and obtained a search warrant to draw blood."

Authorities arrested Flanery Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and for leaving the scene of an accident. The officer has not yet been charged and was released pending application for warrants.

Jackson said that Flanery was driving his patrol car while off-duty in violation of police procedures, which dictate officers can only use department-issued vehicles while on-duty or driving to and from shifts.

Flannery was also off-duty and working at a separate security guard job when he shot Myers on the night on October 8, 2014 in St. Louis' Shaw neighborhood, located about 16 miles south of Ferguson, where another white officer, Darren Wilson, had fatally shot black teen Michael Brown two months earlier.

Police say Myers had a weapon and fired at the off-duty officer first.

Related: Protest Remembers Teen Killed by Off-Duty St. Louis Cop Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

A private autopsy conducted for the teen's family said Myers was shot six times in the back of the legs — four shots struck him in the back of the legs consistent with him running up a — and once in the side of the head.

In May, the City of St. Louis declined to bring criminal charges against Flanery, saying an independent investigation largely matched with the police account that Myers was armed and fired on the officer before he returned fire in self-defense.

Prosecutors reviewed an array of evidence, including physical and forensic evidence and witness statements, but were unable to independently interview the officer or three people who were with Myers the night of the shooting.

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