Posted on July 3, 2013 at 7:17 AM
(KMOV) -- Did a St. Louis police officer go too far and actually assault a handcuffed suspect?
The police department and prosecutors both say Officer Rory Bruce clearly crossed a line when he hit that teenage suspect back in 2012 and said they had an obligation to hold him accountable.
The victim chose not to testify. There was no jury. The judge was the sole decider and she did not allow the police surveillance video to be shown during Officer Bruce’s trial.
The video was taken from the back of a transport vehicle. It shows the handcuffed teenager stepping out to face two officers. Rory Bruce is the one to the left.
Officer Bruce can be heard saying: "Stand out here with us...you lying piece of s***."
Words are exchanged and then; “It's one forearm blow as he's trained to do,” said Jeff Roorda with the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association.
Roorda says he can see Bruce crouched down and the suspect moving forward. He says Bruce was only defending himself.
Officer Bruce is heard later on the video saying: "I told you I wanted to search you and you came out of the thing and started lunging at me.”
That's not what the department believed. They fired Bruce and turned the case over to prosecutors to charge.
Since the case is not closed, the prosecutor’s office told News 4 they couldn't comment on camera.
In an emailed statement, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said the office was disappointed that the judge didn't see this video--adding that the video clearly shows Bruce beating a handcuffed teen.
Judge Teresa Counts Burke didn't return calls for comment.
Roorda says the judge did right-- he told News 4, police videos like these should be used to protect police.
Now, it's become a “gotcha-head hunter” tool that we've seen internal affairs go over-board with.
Roorda says--with his name clear in the courts--Bruce should get his job back. We'll stay on it to see if he does.
Warning: The video contains language that may not be suitable for all. Click here to see the entire, unedited surveillance video.