Ray Albers, the Missouri police officer who cursed at and told Ferguson protesters that he would kill them on video, has resigned. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Albers, 46, stepped down from his position on Thursday after police commissioners met and recommended that he resign or be fired.
On August 19th a video surfaced of Albers screaming “I will f**king kill you!” to unarmed Ferguson protestors, his weapon raised and pointed directly at them. A protester asked him his name, to which he replied: “Go f**k yourself.” Last week, Albers’ identity was confirmed.
Aaron Jimenez, St. Ann Police Chief, defended Albers raising his weapon but was “highly angry” at the former officer’s choice of words. Before the camera began recording, protesters reportedly threw water and urine on Albers.
“He saw three to four suspects with bandanas on, and saw one of them raise a gun towards him,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “That made him draw his weapon up to the crowd, and he was scanning and moving that weapon back and forth, trying to assess the scene.” The police chief claims that when the crowd moved closer to Albers, he became afraid. “That’s why he used those words,” but he said it didn’t make them excusable.
Albers was a 20-year veteran of the St. Ann, MO police department and had three past incidents involving disciplinary issues. In three separate incidents—in 1995, 1996 and in 2013—Jimenez said the officer “used a wrong choice of words with a resident, didn’t let the conversation go when he should have.”
If the Ferguson incident has happened at any other time, Albers would have likely been suspended without pay, Jimenez told the Post-Dispatch.
Officials say that another officer, Matthew Pappert, was fired on Thursday after he commented on Facebook that Ferguson protesters should be “put down like rabid dogs.”