Kansas City Police Department member under investigation for role in Greitens ride-along

The Kansas City Police Department is a criminal investigation of a ride-along Friday involving US Senate candidate Eric Greitens.

Police officials said the investigation involves a member of the department but did not identify the subject of the investigation. The member was placed on paid suspension.

During the ride, Greitens posted a video on social media featuring the ride-along that originated from the department’s North Patrol Division in Platte County. He later deleted the post.

Ride-alongs, even by prominent individuals, are not unusual. But Greitens’ trip immediately drew condemnation, with critics of the post saying it inappropriately politicized the department.

The video at one point showed an image of a KCPD vehicle. In one tweet, Greitens said, “Tonight, I’m riding along with @kcpolice,” according to screenshots posted online.

Police requested the campaign take down the video. In a statement, KCPD said official approval to film during the ride along was not obtained in advance.

Sgt. Jacob Becchina, a police spokesman, said in an email Tuesday night that the criminal investigation was related to political activity that officers are prohibited from engaging in.

Chapter 84 of Missouri statutes includes provisions dealing with Kansas City police. Among them is a prohibition on officers or other department employees from being connected with political work on behalf of candidates “while on duty or while wearing the official uniform of the department.”

The Greitens campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

The ride-along came hours after the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Attorney General Eric Schmitt, one of Greitens’ Republican opponents in the Senate race. Greitens, a former Navy Seal, has campaigned as an ally of law enforcement.

Greitens has been attempting to use his Senate campaign to mount a political comeback after he resigned as governor in 2018 multiple scandals, including alleged that he sexually assaulted and blackmailed his former hairdresser.

More recently, Greitens’ ex-wife has alleged in an affidavit that he was abusive toward her and their children. He has denied the claims.

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