A former St. Louis police officer was found not guilty of assaulting a teenage suspect after a judge refused to watch a video of the assault taken by the surveillance camera in the back of the police vehicle.
Rory Bruce was fired for the February 2012 incident in which he slammed a handcuffed teenager across the face for no apparent reason.
The teen was caught driving a stolen car with guns and drugs inside. Bruce and his partner Jacob Fowler claimed the teen attempted to pull a gun on them and Fowler fired one shot in self-defense. The St. Louis Police Department prohibits officers involved in shootings from handling suspects afterwards, but officers proceeded to do so anyway. When taking the suspect out of the police van, Bruce said, "Stand out here with us, you lying piece of s***."
Once out of the vehicle, Bruce bashes his elbow into the teen's face.
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Jeff Roorda, head of the St. Louis Police Officer's Association, was happy with the verdict. Roorda says the suspect moved forward, and Bruce was just defending himself.
Obviously the department did not agree. After he was fired, the department turned over the case to prosecutors to charge him.
“It’s one forearm blow as he’s trained to do,” Roorda told KMOV. He believes that now that Bruce’s name is cleared he should get his job back.
Self-defense was going to be argued by Bruce’s attorney Joe Hoday, but he never had to do so.
Judge Burke refused to tell KMOV-TV why she would not watch the footage. After all, why record footage in the back of a police van if it will not be viewed as evidence in a court case? Roorda claims those police videos should only be used to protect cops, but internal affairs is trying to use it as a “gotch-head hunter” tool.
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