Cop Facing Discipline After Paper Publishes His Social Media Post About Work Day

St. Louis Police Officer Ryan Lynch urged readers to tell state lawmakers they need to support law enforcement.

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.

Comments (159)
No. 1-35
jakki taylor
jakki taylor

He should sue and win. High time brass and civilians get a first hand look at what goes on when no one is filming.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

If he was exercising his first amendment right, and encouraging others to simply do the same, as a private citizen (and off the clock), then this is really touchy, as employers generally can restrict off-duty activities, but probably not a fundamental right like freedom of expression.

Shoot Kaepernick and a lot of people who do not understand the First Amendment think that he had a right to kneel for the anthem while being employed by a commercial national football team. You don't lose your rights when you become a government employee.

Anyway, beyond that, his words should be endorsed by the department. If anything, Officer Lynch went through a lot that day, and he should be thanked for his service. So thank you, Officer Lynch. It's nice to see the 2nd-highest rated comment at the St. Louis Dispatch says exactly that.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

You break the rules, you pay the price.

modixie
modixie

So this Lt. accused the officer of speaking to the media without permission. Do I have this right? Is the Lt. being investigated for making public accusations without a through investigation? Was it not considered "confidential" that the dept was investigating the officer prior to the Lt. advising the press?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

"was murdered in the line of duty while serving a warrant"

CORRECTION: It has now come out that this may have been a justified self-defense killing, and therefore it may not be a murder. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

He did the same thing a news journalist SHOULD'VE done. No confidential information there. So, "Butt-hurt libs protesteth too much"!

JBo
JBo

All the info that was in the editorial was publicly available information. Nothing confidential...nothing secret. I see no problem with what the officer said in this editorial to a newspaper. However, that being said...stay off social media with anything job related.

I think the reason the officer is getting slammed is that the administration, both department and city hall, don't want the citizens to know how bad it really is on the streets. When you see dead kids over and over, it will affect you.

JohnP
JohnP

I live and work in an upscale municipality in SoCal. The local paper stopped posting a weekly crime blotter because it upset the community that crimes were occurring in the quiet little “Mayberry”. It’s easier to bury your head and pretend bad thing don’t happen than to support our first respiders when they need us.

JohnP
JohnP

Sounds like Lt William Brown of the St Louis Police Department is a real asshole.

Justretired
Justretired

Truth hurts.

Sta18-Retired
Sta18-Retired

This officer clearly needed to talk about his feelings and frustrations. Law enforcement suicides are skyrocketing because of the daily trauma we see. I'd much rather see him, or any officer, letting his emotions out in any format available. The Lt should be talking to the officer and discretely getting him help if necessary. Adding additional stress and anxiety by investigating the officer is reckless and misinformed.

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

Burgers all day is stating that the murder of the Illinois trooper was justified.. Hes crossed the line.. Ive asked that he be banned from the sight i suggest you all do the same.. Hes gone from amusing fool to total asshole..

Terry in GA
Terry in GA

It breaks my heart that anyone could disagree with the comments posted to this officer's social media page. It should be a "no-brainer" that encouraging support of our officers and first responders is positive rather than negative. I stand with this and all officers in support of their efforts to keep us safe.

Les_gpt
Les_gpt

he didn't say anything that would not be broadcast on the evening news! It is good that he gave an account in this manner. It shows a glimpse into the mind of someone who can go anywhere in the community while carrying a gun. With the number of good cops dwindling for whatever reason today it is refreshing to have one attempt to reach the community in a unique and sincere outcry.

BETTER FOR HIM TO SHARE HIS DESIRE AND FRUSTRATION IN THIS MANNER THAN LET IT WEIGH HIM DOWN TO WHERE HE HURTS HIMSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE!!!!!!!!

Choirboyz
Choirboyz

The hypocrisy of needing more communication between the police and the public and finally having officers willing to speak or write and policy violations become more important... leaders need to weigh each instance and respond in kind... I certainly get chain of command and areas of responsibility in the .org chart but this was well intentioned and needed

4thaBlue
4thaBlue

Gotta watch your P’s and Q’s brothers and sisters, and just watch what you post on social media. The department will hang you out to dry and then cite its policy. They will pick and choose which policy they wish to uphold and use against you and at the same time, will bend or ignore specific ones to benefit the department.

TWalters
TWalters

If he did what he felt was right, he will sleep good at night. Screw IA!

Jeff045
Jeff045

While I empathize with him, if it's policy it's policy. Where he may have a legal argument is how diligent is admin about enforcing this or other policies? If he can show admin knows others have violated this or other policies with no or significantly lesser action, he may have a defense. All of this is IMHO. I hope he prevails.

Lesstalkmoreaction
Lesstalkmoreaction

@Hi_estComnDenomn, I know that you're kinda slow-minded so I grabbed this from the article for you. "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 ... "

bronx163
bronx163

Like i tell my old brothers and sisters in blue in the NYPD. LET IT ALL BURN. LET THE SAVAGES KILL ONE ANOTHER. LET THE STREETS RUN IN RED
OET THE PLACE IMPLODE. THEY WANT HANDS OFF NO POLICING GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.

PICK UP YOU JOBS TAKE A REPORT MOVE ON TO NEXT CALL.

THIS COP DID NOTHING WRONG. HE SAID IT LIKE IT IS. ANIMALS RUN THE STREET AND NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVISTS HATE THE TRUTH ITS NOT WHITES KILLING MINORITY MEN. ITS BLCK AND HISPANIC ON CRIME. WAKE THE FUCK UP.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Freedom of speech? Not on Facebook!

Cubs389
Cubs389

Wow St. Louis PD really wants to lower their Officer numbers! Can they become anymore PC under the leadership of that moron Kimberly Gardner!

tfort
tfort

Why is it so hard for cops to follow the rules? Comply and all will be fine.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

Facebook is an extremely successful campaign of digital Communism, via the appeal of effeminate attention-seeking on a global scale.Thought crime will make a defendant of us all.

djb032
djb032

I'm surprised Lt Brown or upper management in any LE department pull their heads out of the sand long enough to actually care about what's going on....Officer Lynch speaks the truth and now the liberal bobble head Lt wants to crucify him for it. Let's get back to a time when upper management and their depts, stood behind their officers, didn't have to be politically correct, and didn't answer to or allow city leaders to tell them how to do police work!

RmdGRD
RmdGRD

It's a sad day when an officer puts it out there, something each and every one of us have dealt with, or will deal with in our careers, and some bootlicker writes him up. I don't know their policies and procedures, but I didn't read any names, or information which might appear as if it provided any information to any specific investigation. Appears to be well written and informative to the general public what stress an officer might deal with in a shift. Let me lower my standards so that lieutenant might understand and most assuredly had heard before. Tired of these chickenshit $ucka$$e$ trying to screww someone below him, to either appease those in power (ie City Counsel), or a feeble attempt to make himself appear superior.

Skidoo
Skidoo

Editorial from the Saint Louis Mudbone Star: "Yo. Don't be talkin 'bout what's goin on in St. Louis and we don't need no white ass honky cop stirrin' it up. It's all about the love. Peace out. Keep it real."

61mouse
61mouse

“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.”

This is what got him in hot water

LynnSB
LynnSB

Officer should SUE the PAPER !!!!! Invasion of Privacy !!!

Ibizian
Ibizian

What you can't read or don't know what it is?

Pthoman66
Pthoman66

Sounds like an agency that isn't real big on keeping those they are supposed to protect informed on what's going on in their community. If the police Commissioner has to approve every contact with the media they are worried about the truth.

Pthoman66
Pthoman66

Sounds like an agency that isn't real big on keeping those they are supposed to protect informed on what's going on in their community. If the police Commissioner has to approve every contact with the media they are worried about the truth.

Greenecounty19
Greenecounty19

Every day across our country LEO are the first to arrive at the most horrible sites ever scene. I completely understand this officer’s sentiment for I have been there. I believe the officer is sharing the horrors of the job as much as he is sharing the personal impact of the trauma has on LEO’s in general. PTSD IS NOT EXCLUSIVE FOR COMBAT VETERANS. IT GOES HAND IN HAND FOR LEO’s ASWELL.

It is imperative that agencies begin to recognize this very real treat to those who work in the field, that includes uniform officers, Detectives assigned to crimes against persons especially women and children, and juvenile officers and family services personnel.

I want to talk about JO and family services personnel for just a moment, They have higher education and the lowest pay. They see what an unwanted child looks like. Most of us do not give them a second look for the job they do but we should. They shoulder our most precious part of humanity when no one else will. They are the harbinger for the voiceless child, the beaten child, the sexual assaulted child, the dead child.

I was a Deputy for 25 years I ended my career as a lieutenant in Criminal Investigations Division. I could never do the job of the family service folks. It really is an unsung hero. A calling that only few can do well. It is a tough job a unrewarding job, a under appreciated job, a job that we wish never needed to exist but does because most of us do not give a troubled child a second look. These folks are braver, tougher, and filled with more compassion than me. I salute you. I thank you, I pray for you and your wards. May God bless you.

Back to this story. The complaint Lieutenant, I believe, is missing the real point of what the officer is trying to say. Thus without knowing he is becoming part of the stress or frustration the officer is pointing out. Stay with me for a moment. The officer is calling out the public and legislators for not backing LEO’s in general. Which I happen to agree with due to changes in the RSMo over the past few years. But what all LEO’s face is the trouble one can get into on the job as well. So, as a profession there is non like it in the world than that of an American Law Enforcement Officer. Nearly everything we do is recorded, we must be defenders of the peace and know the proper application of the law. We must know first aid, know a persons civil rights, understand the enormity of placing a person under arrest including shooting someone, which is a form of an arrest. We must know how to talk someone who is emotional disturbed, evidence collection, interview techniques, when does Miranda apply, we must know our policy manual how to address the court, etc... with all of that if we make one mistake out of ten years of excellent performance we will be judge in the court of public opinion and the department too. It’s a tough spot with a though job. A fewer and fewer are willing to do the job.

Yes Professional Standard has a place in each department but they have a obligation to defend an officer s actions also. And if the policy needs to reflect a more modern perspective than it professional standards unit should file it up the chain. If the policy needs more teeth PS should follow the same course of action.

But in all cases they should look deeper and understand why the officer acted in this manner. Like I stated earlier the American LEO has one of the most scrutinized jobs than any other profession. With all this pressure the officer may be exhibited signs of stress, depression, PTSD, or simple frustration, I don’t know and the Lieutenant does not know either. Should he just enforce the policy? I believe It is incumbent for an agency that calls itself a family to act like one and get to the hart of the matter.

I am not siding with the officer or the agency I’m only offering an alternative perspective

Whatever becomes of this matter I hope the agency looks at the intent the sentiment and the deeper truth just like a family should.

Bigdaddydeuce
Bigdaddydeuce

The officer did nothing wrong, no confidential information was released. Having said that, I post nothing on social media, departments look for any reason to discipline you, also they do not want the public to know the real truth. Many agencies have banned license checks and require officer to have concept search forms filled out, although BWC’s exist.