2 Kansas City Officers Charged with Assault for Aggressive 2019 Arrest of Transgender Woman
Months after her violent arrest, Breona Hill was gunned down outside her Kansas City residence
Two officers employed by the Kansas City Police Department have been indicted on assault charges nearly a year after being captured on camera allegedly using excessive force in the arrest of a transgender woman who was killed five months later in a separate incident.
A bystander recorded footage of the arrest of 30-year-old Breona Hill on May 24, 2019, in the Missouri city
The footage allegedly shows Kansas City policemen Matthew Brummett and Charles Prichard slamming Hill's face into the sidewalk twice during her arrest, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
Brummett allegedly then dropped his knee onto Hill's neck and right shoulder.
In the footage, Hill can be heard moaning in pain. She sustained a cut above her right eye as well as bruises to the left side of her face and soreness to her ribs.
Hill was transported to Truman Medical Center for treatment, it states in the affidavit.
Brummett, 37, and Prichard, 47, were charged Friday with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.
The arrest followed an argument Hill had had with the owner of a beauty supply store in Kansas City. Police were summoned to remove Hill from the business.
The officers would later claim Hill resisted arrest, requiring the use of force.
She was cited for trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The arrest was captured by a man who was driving by at the time. The footage was captured on his phone, and proved critical to securing the indictments.
In October, Hill was killed in an unrelated shooting that unfolded outside her home. An unnamed defendant has been charged in that case, according to prosecutors.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said that "this case is particularly disappointing," noting her office was barred from filing charges without an indictment.
Both suspects will appear before a judge in August, and face a year in prison if convicted.
They have both been placed on administrative leave.
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Lawyers for the officers issued a statement to KCTV, saying their clients "maintain that the force they used was reasonable under the totality of the circumstances," adding they "vehemently dispute the basis of these charges and believe they will be ultimately exonerated in court."
David Smith, an attorney for Hill and her relatives, told the New York Times the video is a textbook example of excessive force.
"The community is in uproar over this," Smith said. "All you have to do is watch the video. A picture speaks a thousand words, but a video speaks two thousand."