KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - It’s been nearly a year since Roderick Reed stopped as he drove by Brush Creek and Virginia to shoot video of an arrest that took him aback.
“Like I was in disbelief,” Reed said.
On Friday, a grand jury indicted the two officers with fourth-degree assault of Breona Hill, a misdemeanor.
The charging documents describe the officers, “slamming her face against the concrete sidewalk, kneeing her in the face, torso and ribs and forcefully bending her arms over her head while her hands were handcuffed.”
The officer told the grand jury he was actually trying to stop her from slamming her own head into the sidewalk.
The Fraternal Order of Police says a department investigation determined Hill, “purposefully struck her head against the concrete and that the officer’s subsequent actions of controlling her head prevented the arrestee from doing further harm to herself.”
“And they took her arms and started bending them all the way up,” Reed said, as he described that day.
A grand jury affidavit notes she was handcuffed and, “the footage shows no apparent movement from Ms. Hill.”
Reed was glad for an indictment but not for a misdemeanor.
“If it was your loved one and it was done that way, you would want more than a slap on the wrist,” Reed said.
The county prosecutor said in a statement that she was, “grateful that a citizen captured this incident on video.” But a municipal court judge found him guilty of, “failure to obey a lawful order.”
“I ain’t interfering. I’m just recording,” Reed can be heard saying in the video.
“So am I. Now move along,” replied one of the officers.
A video provided by police shows the officers ordering Reed to move his car.
An officer can be heard yelling, “You’re blocking traffic!”
Police said they issued the citation because he was stopped in a lane of traffic, not because he was shooting the video. Though he pulled over 1-1/2 minutes after being ordered to do so.
“I became a villain from it. And now I’m being punished according to the law for doing the right thing,” Reed said.
Reed has since appealed for a jury trial in Jackson County Court, hoping a jury will see it his way.
“That they will see and understand the reason why I didn’t obey their orders: because a crime was being committed,” Reed said. “I would do it again and again and again if something was occurring in front of me. I don’t feel bad. Not at all.”
The Jackson County Prosecutor would not comment on Reed’s municipal conviction. The officers are summoned to appear before a judge in August.
It’s worth noting a grand jury only decides if there is enough evidence to charge someone. It is not a jury that convicts someone.
The officers’ lawyers say they believe they will ultimately be exonerated.
Hill won’t get to be a part of those proceedings. She was killed at 43rd and Hardesty in a homicide resulting from an argument. A man was arrested at the scene.