Crime

Dashcam video shows excessive force arrest by Independence police

mcampbell@kcstar.com

A federal judge on Monday released the police dashcam video that shows former Independence Police Officer Timothy N. Runnels using excessive force in arresting then-17-year-old Bryce Masters.

During an arrest on Sept. 14, 2014, Runnels used a stun gun on Masters after a traffic stop and then dropped the handcuffed teen onto the pavement. Masters went into cardiac arrest that resulted in oxygen deprivation and brain damage.

The Truman High School senior nearly died, according to court testimony.

Runnels pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week to four years in federal prison for violating Masters’ civil rights. The dashcam video was played in court during his sentencing hearing.

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The incident occurred at East Southside Boulevard and Main Street. Runnels made the traffic stop because of a Kansas City warrant, later determined to be a mistake, associated with the license plate on the vehicle he was driving.

Police said Masters was uncooperative. Runnels used the stun gun. Masters then got out of the car and lay facedown in the street.

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The stun gun continued to discharge for about 20 seconds. Then Runnels handcuffed the teen, lifted and dragged him to the curb, then dropped him on the pavement.

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After a few minutes Runnels called for an ambulance but did not check on Masters. When the ambulance arrived, Masters was in cardiac arrest. He was taken to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.

The brain damage could affect Masters for the rest of his life. He testified recently that he is forgetful and has difficulty focusing.

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Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

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