ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A November 17 altercation between University of Missouri – St. Louis police and a 46-year-old student has some calling for the police officers’ termination.And:
Witnesses say a disagreement between Brian K. Massey, a disc jockey at the campus radio station, and another radio station volunteer led police to the Millennium Center around 5 p.m.
“They had actually called the building police on her,” Massey said, referring to the 35-year-old volunteer he had a disagreement with. “The reason campus police were called wasn’t for me, it was for her.”
Massey and witnesses tell KMOX that police asked him for two forms of identification which he promptly handed over without complaint. Police then informed the criminal justice student that he was under arrest for trespassing after refusing to leave the building.
Massey and witnesses say he was grabbed by police, handcuffed, and then thrown against a concrete column without provocation. UMSL spokesman Bob Samples, meanwhile, says Massey grabbed the wrist of one of the officers and resisted arrest.And:
“I used my foot to stop my face from hitting the column,” Massey said. “They then threw me against the window of the radio station.”
Witnesses say that’s when the crowd, which had gathered as classes let out, became heated.
Massey, who suffers from diabetic neuropathy and says he’s listed as a disabled student by the university, said that police then began punching him and kicking him in the sides. Police agree that they were forced to “apply striking blows to soft tissue areas.”
Witnesses say Massey displayed “amazing calmness” as he was struck, eventually going down on one knee in hopes of avoiding further confrontation. But, he says, that only made him an easier target.
“They then hit me in the side, hit me in the legs again, pushed my head into the wall, and start hitting me in the head.”
It was only when a campus employee stepped between the officers and Massey did the beating come to an end, according to witnesses.
Massey says further improper treatment followed, including having his leg slammed in the police car’s door. He was charged with three misdemeanors – resisting arrest, assault, and trespassing - along with one felony count of assault of a police officer while undergoing treatment for his injuries.
“I spent the next three days handcuffed, and then - when St. Louis County came in - shackled to a hospital bed,” Massey said. “I was never even given a phone call.”
Massey was also suspended from the UMSL campus after being released on bond and told to leave his UMSL-owned apartment during which time he visited family in Chicago before being told he could return.
He says he’s since been hounded by police and lives in a state of fear and paranoia.
Massey also alleges that members of the UMSL administration have pressured him into not appealing the allegations against him and instead suggested that he remain quiet. But, he says, as a criminal justice major, he has been taught that keeping quiet simply isn’t right.
As for what he wants from UMSL police and administrative staff, Massey says he just wants to be exonerated.
“I need my named cleared,” Massey said. “These trumped up charges against me are exactly that.”
Meanwhile, some of Massey’s fellow students are calling for more than just exoneration.
“Ultimately, we want these officers removed from campus,” one student said.
Massey has said he will support the sit-in and similar protests as long as they remain peaceful.And:
“If they’re going to go out on a limb for me, the least I can do is be there to support them supporting me,” Massey said.
Organizers say Massey has shown incredible resilience throughout the ordeal and that they hope to forward his positive, peaceful way of thinking. Many people have suggested the attack on the African-American Massey by white officers was racially motivated but Massey disagrees.The editor I spoke to said that he "balanced" the story after speaking with an UMSL official. However, if you look at the new story, you'll see that it only tells the UMSL police account of the incident. It is, in fact, far less balanced than the original story.
“No, I don’t think race played a role in it,” Massey said.
(I realize that I quoted a lot of text from the previous article. However, that article is no longer published on the KMOX site and I am quoting the text as part of "fair use," because ultimately I am reporting on the changes made by KMOX)