In a blatant abuse of power along with an embarrassing display of ineptitude, St. Louis County police arrested a man for video recording on a train Thursday, insisting he was trespassing on private property.
But the St. Louis MetroLink is anything but private, funded by federal, state and county dollars from Missouri and Illinois.
And the policy regarding photography on the train is no different than what we’ve seen in other train systems throughout the country; that photography is allowed unless it is done for commercial purposes, in which case a permit is required. Tripods, lights and other equipment that interfere with pedestrian traffic also requires a permit.
But all Kenny Suitter had was a handheld camera when he was approached by a MetroLink security guard as he stood on a platform video recording.
The guard told him he was not allowed to record on MetroLink property because of “policy.”
Suitter continued recording, eventually stepping on a train, which was when a St. Louis County cop stepped on and ordered him off “my train” because he was violating MetroLink’s “policy” about recording, insisting that it was “private property.”
Two other cops joined the first cop and escorted Suitter off the platform, all of them insisting he was on private property.
The cops led him to an office where they were going to show him the policy that they believed would prove them right.
But before they could do that, one of the cops demanded his identification, which he refused to provide on the basis that he had not committed a crime.
That was when he was arrested.
However, if they had waited a few moments to read the policy, they would have learned they were dead wrong.