Officer in Independence stun gun case leaves force - KCTV5

Officer in Independence stun gun case leaves force

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

An officer who fired his stun gun at a teen, which caused his heart to stop, has left the Independence Police Department.

Officer Tim Runnels left the force last week, sources tell KCTV5.

Runnels is still working through the separation process so his final official date with the city of Independence has yet to be determined, Capt. John Cato said on Friday.

Because it's a personnel issue, city officials cannot say whether he resigned or was terminated. Runnels had been on paid leave since he pulled 17-year-old Bryce Masters over in mid-September. As of earlier this month, he is no longer receiving a city paycheck.

An attorney for the teen and his familysaid the 17-year-old suffered brain damage after he was hit by the probes from Runnels' stun gun. Masters' heart stopped when the probes were fired very close to his heart. He was without oxygen for an extended period of time.

Runnels said he smelled marijuana coming from within the vehicle that Masters was in and that Masters repeatedly interfered with his investigation, forcing him to attempt to pull the teen from the vehicle.

The FBI said it would investigate whether excessive force was used. The Independence Police Department had launched its own investigation, which has been completed.

The IPD's review has been submitted to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office. A spokesman for Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has yet to respond to questions about whether the case is closed or has been presented to a grand jury for review.

Masters' father, Matt Masters, is a Kansas City Police Department officer and supervises the department's off-duty program. Masters and Runnels knew each other when they were police officers together. Runnels worked for the KCPD from 2007 through 2010.

Attorney Dan Haus said the Masters family has faith in the ongoing FBI investigation, and as a result could not comment on the latest news about Runnels.

"Bryce is still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation for his brain injury," Haus said in a statement issued Friday. "Although he has made marked progress, he is not yet able to return to school. The Masters family remains grateful for the continued outpouring of support and concern for the entire Masters family."

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