Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Former Officer Investigated ; Man Accused of September Assault, Lying in Court; Pair's Convictions Reversed after Late Video Emerges

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Former Officer Investigated ; Man Accused of September Assault, Lying in Court; Pair's Convictions Reversed after Late Video Emerges

Article excerpt

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Shawnee County District Attorney's Office are investigating a former Topeka police officer accused of beating a man and woman while pursuing an aborted 911 call last September. Jeremy Carlisle-Simons is also accused of lying in court.

On Nov. 19, Topeka Municipal Court Judge Vic Miller reversed convictions against Arthur Morris, agreeing with the city of Topeka that police-issued video, which surfaced an hour before the trial, "clearly shows that the defendant did not commit any of the crimes alleged in the complaint and that the testimony of the officers was likely untruthful."

The Topeka City Council awarded $50,000 on Tuesday to Morris and Jeanie Becerra, who accused the officer and two of his peers of physically assaulting them during an Sept. 27 incident at their central Topeka home.

"Once the city prosecutor's office realized there was a potential legal implication for the officers involved, they immediately acted to protect the rights of the defendants and the integrity of the judicial process by requesting the verdicts be vacated," according to a joint statement from the city attorney's office and Topeka Police Department released to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The city of Topeka is also taking steps to address issues in its police department and city attorney's office, according to the statement. The other two officers have returned to normal duty.

About 10 p.m. Sept. 27, a dispatcher at the Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center received a 911 hang-up call from 1244 S.W. Washburn Ave. When dispatchers called back, an unknown female told them the call was a mistake and no assistance was needed. Carlisle-Simons, Cpl. Michael Hochard and officer Mark Perry still arrived on scene to investigate the call, according to court records submitted by former city attorney Chad Sublet and assistant city attorney Luther L. Ganieany Jr.

Footage from Perry's body camera shows Carlisle-Simons telling Morris, "The neighbors called because you are yelling at each other, and that's why we are here." The city's investigation proved otherwise after reviewing the 911 calls, the court documents said.

At some point in the yard, Morris was arrested on suspicion of disobeying a police order, disturbing the peace, assault on a law enforcement officer and interfering with law enforcement. Becerra was arrested in connection with disobeying a police officer and interference with law enforcement.

After the three officers testified in municipal court on Nov. 3, Judge Vic Miller found Morris and Becerra guilty on all charges.

The police department, however, didn't submit Perry's video until about an hour before the trial, and it wasn't viewed during court. The officers didn't indicate the recording had information contrary to their testimony, according to the city's court filing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.