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Former Kansas City police officers get probation after assaulting Black transgender woman

A screenshot from a video showing officers Matthew Brummett and Charles Prichard arresting Breona Hill
A screenshot from a video showing officers Matthew Brummett and Charles Prichard arresting Breona Hill

Two former Kansas City, Missouri, police officers drew three years' probation after pleading guilty to third-degree felony assault in the beating of a Black transgender woman.

Two former Kansas City, Missouri, police officers will lose their peace officers’ licenses and serve three years unsupervised probation after pleading guilty to felony third-degree assault for their roles in the assault of a woman during an arrest.

Matthew Brummett and Charles Prichard arrested Breona Hill, a Black transgender woman, in May of 2019, after getting a call from a beauty shop owner who wanted Hill removed from the store.

The officers slammed Hill’s head on the concrete sidewalk, kneeled on her neck and shoulder, and yanked her handcuffed arms up behind her head. A passerby videotaped the arrest.

A police trainer who viewed that recording said the officers used excessive force. Hill was left with a badly bruised face and soreness that lasted for weeks, according to court documents.

Brummett, 39, and Prichard, 50, are also forbidden from owning firearms or having contact with the woman’s family. If they violate the terms of probation, each former officer would be subject to a four-year prison sentence.

Prichard and Brummett, both of whom are white, were accused of using excessive force in two other 2019 assaults. Both incidents spawned lawsuits, one of which is pending. The other was dismissed. Also in 2019, Prichard or Brummett shot a man when they responded to a carjacking report. Police said the man was reaching for one of the officer’s guns. The shooting victim survived and no charges were filed against the officers.

Both Brummett and Prichard left the police department in December 2021.

Hill was shot and killed in a house in Kansas City in October of 2019. That shooting was ruled to have been in self-defense.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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