JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – Two KCPD officers are now facing felony charges after a jury heard further testimony in connection with the May 2019 arrest of Breona Hill.
Matthew G. Brummett and Charles Prichard are now facing charges of third-degree assault, which is a class E felony. The charges stem from “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,” according to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Back in May, a grand jury indicted Brummett and Prichard for the misdemeanor of fourth-degree assault. So, today’s indictment is an upgrade of those charges to a felony.
According to an affidavit, witnesses came forward following the initial indictment of the officers in May.
One witness was a lead defensive tactics instructor in the summer of 2019 at the regional police academy. After seeing videos about the arrest, the witness said there were several issues with the level of force used. This instructor’s commanders supported that conclusion and raised other issues about the arrest they believed weren’t justified.
The two officers were then made to go through retraining.
A second witness, who was a former defensive tactics instructor, also saw the videos and told a member of the KCPD there were issues with the level of force used during the arrest.
The affidavit also says evidence was presented to the jury about the extent of Hill’s injuries as a result of the arrest.
The prosecutor’s office has said it will make no further comment on this case.
Following this arrest in May of last year, Hill was fatally shot in October at a residence on Hardesty in KC. The defendant in that case has been charged in connection with that fatal shooting.
On Friday evening, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement:
"July 24, 2020
We received the information the Jackson County Prosecutor took the case involving Breona Hill back to the grand jury this afternoon and upgraded the charges against two KCPD ofﬁcers from misdemeanor assault to felony assault.
As we stated in May we stand by these ofﬁcers.
The incident with Hill happened in October of 2019 and was investigated at that time. We do not believe any new evidence has surfaced in this case since it was brought to the grand jury in May.
This is another example of political prosecution and abuse of power by the Jackson County Prosecutor who is attempting to resurrect a failing career on the backs of the good men and woman [sic] of the KCPD.
President, Kansas City Missouri Fraternal Order of Police"