COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The City of Columbia mayor and a city spokeswoman have told ABC 17 News that the two officers who are under investigation will no longer be employed by the city by Friday.
“It is my understanding that the officers involved in the incident are no longer employed by the city or will cease employment with the City on May 19,” Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe and city spokeswoman Sydney Olsen each told ABC 17 News on Monday afternoon.
Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones confirmed the two officers will not be employed by the city by May 19.
Gardner Pottorff and Keenen Shouse were seen in a May 7 video attempting to detain a man, Lee E. Martin, in front of Harpo's on South Tenth Street. A police report obtained by ABC 17 News shows the officers arrested Martin for assault, trespassing and resisting arrest. The report from Pottorff only said the officers were called there for a report of a disturbance.
The video shows Pottorff throwing five punches while Shouse is attempting to hold Martin down.
During the city's Monday night council meeting, Mayor Barbara Buffaloe confirmed the news to the rest of the council as well as Columbia residents.
Anthony Willroth with Hold Como Accountable said he still has his reservations.
"It's good not to have them in uniform anymore," said Willroth. "With them having resigned rather than being terminated, it's likely the police aren't gonna have to carry out an internal affairs investigation anymore. Essentially it washes their hands of ever having to weigh in on how they feel about what happened."
Chriss Jones with Race Matters, Friends took the lectern during the meeting, asking that both officers' licenses be revoked. The state's POST Commission would handle any action to take a peace officer's license away after receiving a complaint, sometimes from a law enforcement agency.
"I would like for you to direct the city manager, the police chief, to please revoke his license," said Jones. "Both of them, especially Pottorff's, as a police officer, because this will keep him from moving to another police force."
Don Weaver, an attorney for the two officers, told ABC 17 News on Monday afternoon that the officers "voluntarily resigned."
Weaver added that he did not have any information on the investigation into the officers, but said, "My prediction is that they will be cleared of wrongdoing.”
Both officers were placed on leave, according to a previous news release. Both officers were put under investigation by the Boone County Sheriff's Office and Columbia Police Department.
Pottorff and Shouse both began their work at CPD in 2020, according to the city's human resources department.
Pottorff was the Columbia Police Foundation's "Rookie of the Year" in 2022, according to a news release from the city. A special prosecutor did not charge Pottorff that same year for shooting at Quillian Jacobs following a shooting on Fifth Street in 2021.