A screengrab of Sergeant Roger Schlude's body camera footage from March 7, 2015.
Last year, two on-duty Columbia police officers engaged in a bizarre shit-talking match with a seventeen-year-old who happened to be filming them with a smartphone. Newly obtained body camera footage shows the exchange from the officers' perspectives — an incident that begins with Sergeant Roger Schlude whipping out his pistol.
Obtained last week by watchdog group Citizens for Justice, the videos stem from a March 7, 2015, incident on a residential street in Columbia, Missouri. The group obtained footage from two different body cameras.
The first video opens with Schlude riding in the passenger seat of a squad car driven by Officer Chris Papineau. About twenty seconds pass. Then Schlude activates the audio recorder on his body camera and exits the squad car with his weapon drawn.
"Why don't you get your hand out of your pocket?" Schlude yells toward a individual wearing a hoodie and holding a smartphone.
The person doing the filming, Cezan “CJ” Stock, lifts his left hand and shouts back, "We want to know why you're harassing us."
This is the moment where it becomes obvious that this isn't some random stop. There's already bad blood between Schlude and Stock.
"Alright, I want to get this on the camera," Schlude says back. "This is Mr. Stock, he carried a gun the last time I arrested him up on Stadium. He'll probably be in court I hope. He's a good citizen and he's got some good friends."
From there, the confrontation devolves into a blustering shouting match that wouldn't feel out of place in a high school cafeteria. At one point, Papineau, Schlude's partner, begins mocking Stock for his slight frame, noting that Stock is "140 pounds soaking wet" and should "put some bricks in his pocket."
Stock retorts, "I'm not worried about that." He tells Papineau to take off his badge and come closer.
"You have no idea how much I'd enjoy that," Papineau says.
Stock and Papineau go back and forth for several rounds, with Stock offering to beat Papineau's ass and the officer suggesting Stock needed to eat more hamburgers.
The body cam footage from Papineau picked up the clearest audio of the various insults. It ends with Stock and his entourage retreating down the street.
There's a lot to unpack from the footage, and much of it involves a contentious relationship between Stock and the local police force.
For instance, remember that traffic stop Schlude referenced when he got out of the car? Records show that Stock had been pulled over the previous month while driving his mother's Lexus on Stadium Boulevard. During the traffic stop, officers allegedly discovered a pistol in the glove box. The incident report, dated February 6, 2015, notes that Stock has "gang affiliations." Stock was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, but the charge was eventually dropped. (The gun apparently belonged to Stock's mother.)
More recently, Citizens for Justice uploaded a separate set of videos showing Schlude arresting Stock at his family's home in July. The smartphone footage appears to show Schlude pushing Stock's mother, Andrea Brookins.
“They keep saying they want better for our youth and they want to fix our community,” Brookins told Free Thought Project's Matt Agorist. “It starts with our youth. You can’t pull guns and belittle the kids and then wonder why they won’t pull over for you guys or why they have no respect for you guys. Respect is earned.”
Citizens for Justice — the group that filed the open records requests for the body camera footage — has its own longstanding disputes with the Columbia Police Department. In a civil rights lawsuit, the group's founder, Matt Akins, claimed officers violated his rights during multiple encounters between 2010 and 2012. Schlude, in fact, was also named in that lawsuit. Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Columbia officers, dismissing the claims against them. (Akins said he would be appealing that decision.)
Messages left with the Columbia Police Department seeking information about the March 2015 incident were not returned. However, Internal Affairs documents obtained by Citizens for Justice show that Papineau received a written warning for "Discourteous, Disrespectful, or Discriminatory Treatment of Any Member of the Public."
Despite charging gun-first into the situation, however, Schlude was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, it seems Stock and his mother have had enough of Columbia. Last week, they launched a GoFundMe campaign titled "Help Family Flee Blue/Cop Terrorism."
In the campaign's description, Brookins wrote: "I am asking for help moving away from this place before one of my children ends up dead at the hands of the police."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Cezan “CJ” Stock's age as nineteen at the time of the March 7, 2015 incident. Stock was actually seventeen at the time. We regret the error.