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New lawsuit filed against 2 KCPD officers indicted for assault

Posted at 12:54 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 13:54:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Kansas City, Missouri, police officers already under indictment for felony assault stemming from a May 2019 arrest and now the subject of a third civil lawsuit related to alleged excessive force.

Troy Robertson, who is described as a “well-known non-violent community activist” in a petition for damages filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, is suing KCPD officers Matthew Brummett and Charles Prichard, alleging excessive force during an August 2019 encounter.

Robertson’s lawsuit seeks $5 million in punitive damages.

The officers have not been charged with a crime related to this incident.

According to the court filing, Robertson suffered a seizure; emotional distress, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; and multiple soft-tissue injuries, including to his neck and back, on Aug. 21, 2019, near East 35th Street and Prospect Avenue.

Robertson’s attorney, James D. Walker Jr., asserted in the petition for damages that his client was holding a “Honk for JJ” on the southwest corner of the intersection when he approached a KCPD vehicle to ask Brummett and Prichard “for their support.”

According to the court filing, Robertson was told to “get out of the street."

He complied, according to the account included in the court petition, but the two officers exited the vehicle and confronted Robertson.

The lawsuit alleges that Brummett and Prichard “threw plaintiff (Robertson) on the hood of their police vehicle, forcefully and violently handcuffed him behind his back, and then intentionally and maliciously kicked, kneed, punched, brutalized threw the plaintiff to the ground, and continued to punch, kick, ‘knee’ and kneel on” him.

A surveillance camera at a nearby gas station caught the incident on tape, according to the court document.

Robertson, according to the lawsuit, was exercising his constitutionally protected right to free speech and never verbally or physically threatened the officers nor resisted.

He has been active in advocating for causes centered on youth and Kansas City’s homeless population in the past.

Robertson is the person KCPD officers were attempting to arrest during an October 2020 incident at the same intersection in which officers were filmed kneeling on a pregnant woman’s back, which sparked numerous protests outside City Hall and calls for Chiefs of Police Rick Smith’s resignation.

A grand jury indicted Brummett and Prichard for misdemeanor assault in May 2020 in connection with the arrest one year earlier of Brianna Hill.

The grand jury upgraded the charges to a felony in July.

Both Brummett and Prichard pleaded not guilty in August. Both officers remain on administrative assignment while under indictment, according to a KCPD spokesperson, and the department has no comment on the newly filed civil lawsuit.

“We generally do not comment on pending civil litigation to ensure fairness for all sides involved,” the spokesperson said.

Hill’s estate filed a civil lawsuit against Brummett and Prichard last June, seeking unspecified damages in connection with the alleged excessive force during her arrest in May 2019 outside a beauty shop in the 1300 block of Brush Creek Boulevard.

RELATED | Brianna Hill's family reacts to KCPD charges, wants further justice

Hill was shot to death in an unrelated incident in October 2019.

Brummett and Prichard cited the man who filmed Hill’s arrest from his car, Roderick Reed.

KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas pardoned Reed after he initially pleaded guilty to failure to obey the officers and blocking traffic.

Reed sued Brummett and Prichard in June 2020 for $5 million.