For Immediate Release
May 15, 2020
Two Kansas City police officers have been charged in connection with the use of excessive force during the arrest of a citizen outside a Kansas City beauty supply store on May 24, 2019, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
A Jackson County grand jury returned indictments for both officers after a review this month of evidence assembled in the case.
Matthew G. Brummett, dob: 2/14/1983, and Charles Prichard, dob: 11/13/1972, each face a misdemeanor charge of Assault 4th Degree for recklessly causing physical pain to Bryan Hill, also known as Breona or Briya Hill, by slamming her face against the concrete sidewalk, kneeing her in the face, torso and ribs and forcing her arms over her head while cuffed.*
Baker stated that the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office was required to place the case before the grand jury after KCPD investigators and commanders declined to give the prosecutor’s office a probable cause statement, the affidavit normally submitted by a detective at the conclusion of an investigation.
“This case is particularly disappointing that my office was prevented from filing the charge independent of a Grand Jury,” Baker said. “Several years ago, my office shifted our policy so we only engaged the grand jury on cases where a credibility determination must be made. This policy change was in the interest of greater transparency because state law shrouds grand jury proceedings in secrecy.”
“I am grateful for the Grand Jurors close attention to this matter,” Baker added.
Baker also said she was grateful that a citizen captured this incident on video.
The victim in this case was shot to death in October 2019 in a residence on Hardesty in Kansas City. A defendant has been charged in connection with that shooting.
The foreman of the grand jury, which met throughout May on this case, signed an affidavit today detailing the evidence the grand jurors considered in their investigation of the arrest of Bryan Hill. According to that affidavit:
On May 24, 2019, at approximately 12:37 p.m., Officers Brummett and Prichard arrived at the Beauty Essence, Barber and Beauty Supply Store, located at 1319 Brush Creek Boulevard in Kansas City. Prior to the officers’ arrival, Ms. Hill was involved in some form of dispute with an unknown and unidentified 3rd party, which caused her to dial 911 for assistance. At some point, Ms. Hill also requested that the store owner call 911. In doing so, Ms. Hill used slurs and insulted the store owner, who then called 911 to request that Ms. Hill be removed from his store.
Officers decided to arrest Ms. Hill, according to the affidavit, but they stated she resisted arrest and was taken to the ground outside the store. Ms. Hill was taken to KCPD’s East Patrol station and she was issued citations or municipal tickets for trespass, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the affidavit, a man passing by in his vehicle during the arrest said he saw a police officer strike a woman with a closed fist. The woman ends up on the ground and the man used a cell phone to make a video of the incident. The phone video shows Ms. Hill on her stomach with Brummett and Prichard kneeling on top of her torso, ribs, and upper back. In contrast to the officers’ statements, Brummett slams Ms. Hill’s face two times on the concrete and then he drops his knee and a portion of his body weight on her neck/right shoulder area. The officers then complete the handcuffing. Prichard is then heard saying, “[w]e tried to be easy” and “[y]ou made it this way.” Ms. Hill can be heard moaning or crying in pain and asking for help immediately after this.
Moments later, according to the affidavit, someone approaches and is waived away by Brummett. While Ms. Hill is still laying on the sidewalk, Brummett steps on Ms. Hill’s right hip. Prichard picks up her handcuffed hands and pulls/presses them upward until they are in line with Ms. Hill’s head as she is prone on her stomach. The cell phone video footage shows no apparent movement from Ms. Hill prior to her arms being maneuvered in this way. Just before this, Prichard can be heard saying, “[y]ou wanna push more.” In response, Ms. Hill says, “I didn’t push nobody.” Prichard responds by saying, “[s]top it, I’m tired of messin’ with you.” In addition, Prichard, while pulling/pressing her arms upwards, says, “[y]ou’re doing it now.” Again, Ms. Hill can be heard moaning and crying in pain until she goes silent.
In addition, the affidavit stated, a witness took pictures of Ms. Hill’s injuries after she was transported to Truman Medical Center. Those pictures show a cut above her right eye and bruising/burns on multiple areas of her face and specifically on the left side of her face on her nose.
Baker said she plans to make no further public statement about the case outside of the courtroom.
The officers have been summoned to appear before a Jackson County judge in August.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.