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St. Louis police supervisor blamed for suspect’s release

February 14, 2022 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis’ public safety director said Monday that a police supervisor’s mistake — and not a positive test for COVID-19 — was the reason a domestic assault suspect was released from jail before being charged.

Interim Public Safety Director Dan Isom said the release of Mac Payne on Jan. 4 “wasn’t consistent” with police department policy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Payne’s release from the downtown jail after he tested positive for COVID-19 was cited by a police union attorney as a policy change by the administration of Mayor Tishaura Jones. Isom has denied there has been a change in policy allowing the release of potentially violent offenders just because they have the virus.

Payne arrested again on Jan. 21, then freed on bail three days later. He has pleaded not guilty to second- and third-degree assault.

Isom, asked if the supervisor was disciplined, said only that “there’s a process that you have to go through to do that.”