Graphic: Missouri officer suspended for pointing rifle at protesters

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FERGUSON, MO (KFOR and CNN) — An officer who pointed a semi-automatic assault rifle at a Ferguson, Missouri, protester and threatened to kill him — a tense episode caught on video and posted online — is off the job, at least for now.

The St. Louis County Police Department announced Wednesday that a police officer from St. Ann, Missouri, “has been relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely” over the incident.

“On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, shortly before midnight, an incident occurred wherein a St. Ann Police Officer pointed a semi-automatic assault rifle at a peaceful protestor after a verbal exchange. It was at this time a St. Louis County Police Sergeant walked over and immediately took action, forcing the officer to lower the weapon, and escorting him away from the area. The unified command strongly feel these actions are inappropriate and not indicative of the officers who have worked daily, to keep the peace.  The St. Ann Police Officer involved in the incident has been relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely,” St. Louis County Police Department said in a statement.

St. Ann, like Ferguson, is a suburb of St. Louis.

This is not the first time unarmed protesters in Ferguson have accused police of pointing guns at them. CNN staffers have seen some such incidents first-hand that weren’t caught on tape.

Warning: The videos below contain graphic language and may not be suitable for all viewers.

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