St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis police officer who made a social media post about the raw violence he experienced during a series of calls in a single shift is now the subject of an internal investigation.
“Day started with a vehicle pursuit, subjects pointed a gun at an East St. Louis copper and came to St. Louis in a stolen vehicle,” St. Louis Police Officer Ryan Lynch wrote in the Aug. 23 Facebook post.
“A 16 year old armed with a pistol was the culprit. Luckily caught him with a foot pursuit and he attempted to toss the gun instead of using it on any officers in the area,” the post said.
Officer Lynch said he was subsequently dispatched to a “riot” at a Soldan High School football game. As he was arresting two people, another call for aid rang out over the radio.
“While this nonsense is happening I’m listening to the procession being called out for the [Illinois State Police] trooper who was being conveyed from [St. Louis University Hospital] to his final rest. Because a coward couldn’t face the justice that was due him,” Officer Lynch wrote.
ISP Trooper Nicholas Hopkins, a married father-of-three, was murdered in the line of duty while serving a warrant as part of a SWAT operation earlier that day.
The 10-year veteran-of-the-force died of a gunshot wound to the head that same evening.
As the procession call ended, Officer Lynch finished dispersing the crowd at the football game and prepared to leave the area.
But before he even had a chance to clear from the scene, gunshots rang out.
“Next thing I know, I’m holding the hand of a 16 year old as he begs me not to let him die,” Officer Lynch wrote. “The 8 year old wasn’t that lucky.”
The officer said he was “appalled” by the constant inhumane acts of violence being committed throughout the area.
“The city gave us its worst tonight,” he wrote.
Officer Lynch also urged people to contact state lawmakers to tell them to support Missouri’s law enforcement officers.
“If you’re appalled as I am over the events this past summer, write your State politicians,” he pleaded. “We need backing here in the City. We need to be able to do our job fully.”
“I’m tired of seeing dead babies,” he added.
An edited version of Officer Lynch’s post was later published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with his permission.
“It’s all too rare for the St. Louis public to read about these tragedies through the eyes of our first responders and to get a glimpse of the impact these horrific shootings have on the officers at the scene,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page Editor Tod Robberson explained.
But the day after the editorial was published, St. Louis Police Department (SLPD) Internal Affairs Lieutenant William Brown accused Officer Lynch of “conduct unbecoming of an officer,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“It is alleged that Police Officer Ryan Lynch…prepared an article that was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Aug. 28, 2019,” Lt. Brown wrote in the misconduct report, according to the paper.
The lieutenant accused the officer of violating the SLPD’s policy about speaking to the media without permission from department administrators.
“No information concerning confidential investigations or operations will be released without the expressed approval of the Police Commissioner,” the misconduct report read, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On Wednesday, the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association filed a grievance, noting that nothing Officer Lynch wrote about involved confidential investigative information.
The union argued that the officer did not “prepare the article” as alleged, and also pointed out that St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson had “liked” an excerpt of the original post that appeared on Twitter.