Former Independence MO Police Officer Timothy Runnels Pleads Guilty
This case brings me a level of trust in the Department of Justice, while at the same time, causes me to question their impartiality.
In March 2015, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against former Independence, Missouri, police officer Timothy Runnels for violating the constitutional rights of a minor who was in his custody and obstructing the subsequent investigation into the incident.
Per the Department of Justice:
“According to the indictment, Runnels continuously deployed a Taser against the minor while the minor was on the ground and not posing a threat to Runnels or others. The indictment also charges that Runnels deliberately dropped the minor headfirst onto the ground while the minor was restrained and not posing a threat to Runnels or others. The indictment alleges that the minor sustained bodily injury as a result of Runnels’ actions and, with respect to the first count, that the offense involved the use of a dangerous weapon. The indictment also charges Runnels with two counts of obstruction of justice for filing a false police report concerning the incident and for making a false statement to Independence Police Department investigators regarding the amount of force that he used against the minor.”
Runnels had been on the Independence, MO police force for 2 years.
On September 14, 2014, Runnels stopped the high school senior, Bryce Masters, alleging that he made the traffic stop because of an outstanding warrant. Runnels said that he smelled marijuana and ordered Bryce out of the vehicle. Runnels tazed Bryce in the chest and threw Bryce to the ground. Bryce suffered a broken jaw and went into cardiac arrest with his brain swelling due to lack of oxygen. It required that he be placed in a medical induced coma. Michelle Baker recorded the incident with her cell phone, and gave it to Bryce’s family and cooperated with the FBI.
“It’s been a year now, but I can still picture it all happening right there,” she said. “It was horrible.” I do hope the best for him (Bryce) and his family. Without the video they probably wouldn’t have done much. I’m glad I did it and justice was served for him because no one deserves to be treated like that,” said Baker.
On September 11, 2015, Runnels plead guilty and faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Bryce’s dad is a police officer in Kansas City, MO.
This case does not involve motivation due to race. It is strictly a case of violation of constitutional rights and obstruction of justice because Runnels did not tell the truth in his report. Of course, the video helped.
So, what about Eric Gardner? What about Sandra Bland?
Does the U.S. Attorney in Missouri take his job more seriously than U.S. Attorneys in other jurisdictions?
The below video is a compilation of news reports about the Runnels case.
Posted on 09/18/2015, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, MO and tagged Bryce Masters, Eric Gardner, excessive force, guilty, Independence, Missouri, Sandra Bland, Timothy Runnels. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.