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2 officers charged with assault involved in earlier shooting

June 20, 2021 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Kansas City police officers who are facing assault charges and several lawsuits stemming from a 2019 arrest were also involved in an earlier shooting.

The Kansas City Star reports that newly released records show that Officers Charles Prichard and Matthew Brummett were involved in a January 2019 shooting during an arrest in which a man was wounded after reaching for one of the officers’ guns.

The 2019 shooting was reviewed earlier this year by an internal panel of police officials. It did not recommend any action be taken in response to the shooting, and no charges were filed against the officers in that arrest. The 32-year-old man who was wounded in the arrest later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, attempted stealing and resisting arrest and was placed on probation.

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Prichard and Brummett pleaded not guilty last year to felony assault in the arrest of Breona Hill in 2019. Court records say a video of Hill’s arrest showed officers pushing her face into the sidewalk and kneeling on her. They have been on administrative duty since their 2020 indictments and they are scheduled to face trial in that arrest later this year.

Brummett, 38, and Prichard, 48, are also facing lawsuits related to Hill’s arrest and a separate 2019 arrest in which they were accused of hitting a man several times while arresting him.

Community leaders said the events show a pattern of misconduct. The Rev. Vernon Howard, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, said the officers shouldn’t have been allowed to keep their jobs after these incidents.

“This is totally unacceptable,” Howard said.

Police department officials declined to answer questions about the officers and their conduct last week. Previously, they said they wouldn’t comment on the pending lawsuits.

An attorney representing Prichard and Brummett didn’t respond to calls from the newspaper.