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POLICE MISCONDUCT: TWO OFFICERS ACCUSED OF EXCESSIVE FORCE HIRED BY NEIGHBORING COUNTY

In a controversial move, the Callaway County Sheriff's Office in Missouri has hired two former Columbia Police Department (CPD) officers who had resigned amid an excessive-force investigation. The incident that led to their resignation was captured on video and involved allegations of excessive force during a fight at a local establishment in Columbia.

 

The officers, Gardner Pottorff and Keenen Shouse, were accused of using excessive force against a man who was trying to enter a bar without paying a cover charge. The situation escalated when the officers arrived and were seen using a taser on the man, who was pinned to the ground, and then punching him in the face multiple times.

 

The hiring of Pottorff and Shouse by the Callaway County Sheriff's Office follows their resignation from the CPD, where they were under criminal investigation. A Boone County grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officers. Despite the controversy surrounding their previous employment, the Callaway County Sheriff's Office proceeded with their hiring for open road deputy positions, following what interim Sheriff Darryl Maylee said was a “thorough background and hiring process.”

 

This incident was captured on video by a bystander. The video shows the man being restrained by security guards and then by CPD officers. The man, confused and distressed, repeatedly asked what was happening, expressing fear for his life.

 

The video footage and the subsequent hiring of the officers involved in the incident highlight ongoing challenges and debates in law enforcement regarding police accountability, hiring practices, and the handling of officers accused of misconduct.

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