Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girlfriend Alleges Brutal Beating Officers Kicked, Jumped on Randolph Vance's Head, She Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girlfriend Alleges Brutal Beating Officers Kicked, Jumped on Randolph Vance's Head, She Says

Article excerpt

Constance Johnson said St. Louis police officers brutally beat to death her boyfriend, Randolph Vance, 47, at the couple's home Sunday night.

"One officer was kicking him in the head," she said. "Another one was jumping on his neck."

Police said they were called to the home, in the 5100 block of Kensington Avenue, to break up a fight. They acknowledged using nightsticks on Vance, but only in self-defense and to subdue him, they said. They said Vance was wild, belligerent and having delusions. Chief Ron Henderson promised a thorough investigation by homicide and internal affairs detectives. "Originally, I had no reason to question the officers' actions, but Miss Johnson has filed a complaint and we're going to look into it," he said. Dr. Michael Graham, the St. Louis medical examiner, is conducting the autopsy. "Right now I've got no opinion as to what caused his death," Graham said. "We're awaiting test results." The incident happened about 8:45 p.m. Sunday. Johnson, 43, said Vance had come home and was acting paranoid. "He said people in the back room were going to kill him." Johnson conceded that Vance was a drug user. "I didn't know if he was on drugs, or having a nervous breakdown," she said. Johnson said Vance t began hollering, knocked over the television set and threw an ashtray, which struck her on the side of the head. Johnson told her daughters, ages 12 and 14, to lock themselves in the bathroom. Then she changed her mind and asked them to run down the street to a phone and call for an ambulance because of her cut. In the meantime, Johnson said, Vance called the police himself and reported that someone was trying to kill him. Johnson said that when police arrived, they began beating and kicking Vance for no reason, even after cuffs were placed on his ankles and wrists. "They were beating him with a flashlight and kicking him," Johnson said. "I said, `Stop, you're killing him,' but they kept beating him. …

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