More details emerging in firing of 5 St. Paul cops

A new report says the assault that led to the firing involved an ex-officer.
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The assault that five St. Paul police officers failed to stop — ultimately leading to their firing this week — involved an ex-cop, a new report says.

A police source tells the Pioneer Press that the former St. Paul cop, Tou Mo Cha, has been charged with beating a "defenseless" man outside a bar last June.

The paper says Cha resigned from the force 14 years ago after he was accused of lending his department-issued handgun to someone who then used it to "shoot into a restaurant and a house."

The department has been intentionally vague about the case — citing privacy laws as well as the fact that an internal investigation is still underway — so no official mention has been made of Cha. 

You can read the full Pioneer Press report right here. 

Meanwhile...

The firings — which were lauded by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter — are not without controversy.

On Friday, the St. Paul Police Federation (the local union for cops), which opposes the firing, issued a fiery statement, calling out Chief Todd Axtell for the way he handled it.

Specifically, the press release condemns the sheriff over the release of the five officers' names:

The federation says the police administration's decision has "placed these officers in danger" by depriving them of "unbiased and genuine due process."

"The chief should know better," the statement also said.

It then goes on to promise to "defend its members vigorously in the face of this outrageous and unprecedented situation."

The officers' names have been reported in both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune. 

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