Ex-policeman charged with child abuse

Sunday, November 3, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- A former St. Louis police sergeant who had received several department honors is accused of pointing a pistol at his 10- and 14-year-old daughters, authorities say.

John McKenzie has been charged with child abuse. Last year, he was fired from the police force for shoplifting.

He allegedly asked the girls, "Do you know how many people I've killed?" and pulled the trigger, authorities said. The gun just clicked.

The incident is alleged to have happened in early August when McKenzie had visitation rights with the girls, who spend most of their time with their mother, authorities said.

McKenzie, 47, was charged with two felony counts of child abuse on Oct. 18, after a police investigation.

McKenzie was arrested in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood in June 2000 for stealing a $200 piece of computer equipment at a discount store.

He was convicted in Kirkwood city court and later was brought up on internal charges by the St. Louis police. Part of his defense in a police board trial was that he suffered from a delayed stress reaction after being shot in the head during a drug raid in 1986.

McKenzie had received many police department honors. In 1985, McKenzie was one of 10 officers named Police Officer of the Year by the Police Wives Association.

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