Two Kansas City police officers were indicted on Friday for the excessive force arrest of transgender woman Brianna Hill in May of last year. Video of the arrest was released last week.
Officers Matthew G. Brummett, 37, and Charles Prichard, 47, were charged by a Grand Jury with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for smashing Hill’s face against a sidewalk and kneeing her in the ribs, face and chest during the brutal arrest, which was caught on video by a bystander.
Hill has since died in an unrelated shooting, KMBC reports: “The victim in this case was shot to death in October in a residence on Hardesty Avenue. A defendant has been charged in connection with that shooting.”
KCTV reports: “Prosecutor Baker stated that her office had to put case before the grand jury after the KCPD declined to give the prosecutor’s office a probable cause statement, the affidavit normally submitted by a detective at the end of an investigation.”
The KCPD Police Chief Rick Smith released a statement following the indictments: “I was informed today that two officers from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department were indicted by a Jackson County grand jury. As Chief of Police, it’s my job to hold officers accountable when the facts call for it, and I believe my record as Chief shows how seriously I take that obligation. In the current matter, involving misdemeanor charges against two officers, I’ve placed the officers on administrative assignment until the outcome of the proceedings. Investigators determined that there was no probable cause to conclude the officers broke the law. That is why our department did not submit a ‘probable cause’ affidavit to the prosecutor. However, we did submit the entire file to federal prosecutors, the FBI, and the county prosecutor. We do that in every matter where someone could possibly allege a civil rights violation. All of us want justice. I ask everyone to keep an open mind and let the fact-finding process go forward.”