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Charges upgraded to felony assault against 2 KCPD officers

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 18:12:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Jackson County grand jury has upgraded assault charges against two Kansas City, Missouri, police officers.

KCPD officers Matthew Brummett, 37, and Charles Prichard, 47, were charged May 15 with misdemeanor assault for using excessive force while arresting Brianna Hill on May 24, 2019.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Friday that the officers now face felony assault after a new grand jury indictment was handed down.

The encounter was caught on video by a passer-by, who Brummett and Prichard cited for filming the arrest. The case against Roderick Reed has been dismissed, but he also has filed a lawsuit for a civil rights violation.

According to Baker’s office, the grand jury upgraded the charges after hearing further testimony.

The new testimony included a person who taught defensive tactics in the summer of 2019 at the KCPD Regional Police Academy, who said Brummett and Prichard went through mandatory retraining after he viewed video of the arrest and found “several issues with force used.”

The instructor’s commanders agreed and raised additional issues.

Another former defensive tactics instructor also told the grand jury there were problems with the use of force related to Hill’s arrest.

Brummett and Prichard now face assault in the third degree, a Class E felony, “for knowingly causing physical injury to the victim by slamming her face against the concrete sidewalk, kneeing her in the face, torso and ribs and forcing her arms over her head while cuffed,” the prosecutor’s office said in a release.

Hill, a transgender woman, was subsequently shot and killed in October 2019.

Her estate has filed a lawsuit against Brummett and Prichard.

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Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015.