The Independence police officer who used a stun gun to subdue a 17-year-old who nearly died earlier this year is no longer with the department, officials confirmed Friday.
Authorities would not say whether Timothy N. Runnels resigned or was terminated earlier this week. Runnels had been on administrative leave since the Sept. 14 incident in a traffic stop at East Southside Boulevard and Main Street.
The teen, Bryce Masters of Independence, refused to comply with Runnels’ demands to exit the vehicle, according to a court document that police filed to request a search warrant for the car. Masters physically braced himself to prevent the officer from pulling him out, the document said.
Runnels reported that he detected the odor of marijuana coming from Masters’ vehicle.
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Masters reportedly used his iPhone to record the encounter, according to court records.
After Masters refused to exit the car, the officer deployed his stun gun. Masters reportedly sustained brain damage after the prongs hit his chest near his heart and he fell into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated.
The FBI is investigating whether Runnels used excessive force. On Friday, a spokeswoman said there were no updates, but the agency’s investigation continues.
Independence police are conducting their own investigation, but Officer Tom Gentry said earlier this week there were no updates.
Runnels worked for the Kansas City Police Department from 2007 to 2010. Masters is the son of a Kansas City police officer.
Daniel Haus, the attorney for Masters, said, “The Masters family continues to have faith in the legal process.”
Because of the ongoing investigation, the family declined further comment about Runnels.
Haus said Masters continues to undergo treatment and rehabilitation for his brain injury.
“Although he has made marked progress, he is not yet able to return to school,” Haus said in an email. “The Masters family remains grateful for the continued outpouring of support and concern for the entire Masters family.”