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Assault charge, termination for Missouri officer

Most people would agree that police officers have difficult jobs. In addition to their lives being at risk, their interactions with those charged with a crime can create a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, an officer in Missouri who was fired as a result of an interaction with a prisoner now faces an assault charge as well.

The incident that led to the charge reportedly happened on a day in April; it is said to have been caught on surveillance video. The alleged victim in the situation was reportedly in court as a result of violating a court order. Footage initially shows the inmate sitting on one side of a table with the officer standing on the other.

However, the officer allegedly walks around the table before grabbing the inmate from behind and throwing him on the floor after placing him in a chokehold. The inmate was then placed in a jail cell. The inmate was reportedly insulting the officer, prompting the incident. Representatives for the police department claim the incident immediately sparked an investigation, and the officer was first suspended without pay before he and another officer seen in the video were terminated. The inmate did not require medical attention as a result of the incident.

Being a police officer is not easy. Unfortunately, this officer is now facing a fourth-degree assault charge in addition to the loss of his job. Because of the current climate, police officers suspected of crime in Missouri and across the country often face extreme scrutiny regardless of the nature of the allegations against them and the events surrounding them. Now, the former officer is left to decide how to respond to the charge -- including whether to fight them in court or accept a plea deal, if offered.

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Assault charge, termination for Missouri officer | The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith