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Rory Bruce cleared of assault charges

6:19 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A former St. Louis police officer has been cleared of assault charges and wants his job back.

Rory Bruce was accused of punching a handcuffed teenage suspect in the face in February 2012. Prosecutors say the assault was caught on video.

A judge found Bruce not guilty last Thursday.

Now, the St. Louis Police Officer Association is asking the chief to reinstate Bruce.

Tuesday, after a Freedom of Information Act request by KSDK, St. Louis Police released video from a police vehicle of the incident in question.

Prosecutors say the video shows Bruce abusing his power, but they say Associate Circuit Judge Theresa Burke never watched the video before acquitting the officer of assault charges. 

Prosecutors say the video shows the former officer on a stop in February of 2012. They also say he crossed the line in the video when he punched a handcuffed 16 year old. The St. Louis Police Officers Association says it was a defense tactic.

Bruce was fired for his actions but last week a judge cleared him of 3rd degree assault. But the video was not allowed as evidence in the bench trial.

In a statement, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says, "We are disappointed that Judge Burke did not view the videotape footage... which we believe clearly shows Rory Bruce beating a handcuffed teenager."

"Police officers have to make split second decisions in life and death situations and I don't think that folks over at the Circuit Attorney's office or folks up in Internal Affairs should second guess them based on their brief impression of a video tape," says Jeff Roorda with the SLPOA. "It doesn't tell the whole story," he says.

NewsChannel 5 is still trying to answer the question "why wasn't the video allowed at trial?"

In the meantime, the union wants Bruce reinstated as a police officer. The Department declined to comment saying it is a personnel matter.

 

KSDK

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