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City of Columbia spokeswoman: Internal Affairs investigation on two CPD officers will end

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect who provided information on the officers' resignations.


The Internal Affairs investigation of two Columbia police officers -- who were seen earlier this month in a video where a man was punched in the face five times -- will come to an end, according to a City of Columbia spokeswoman.

However, the Boone County Sheriff's Office criminal investigation into the incident remains active.

"The current or future employment of the officers involved has no impact on the investigation being conducted by our office," Capt. Brian Leer, of Boone County Sheriff's Office, said Tuesday.

"The city will continue to evaluate the incident to identify areas for improvement that can be incorporated into training for all officers," City spokeswoman Sydney Olsen said.

The attorney for officers Gardner Pottorff and Keenen Shouse told ABC 17 News on Monday that the officers voluntarily resigned and will not be employed by the city by this Friday.

Donald Weaver, the lawyer representing the two officers told ABC 17 News the officers voluntarily resigned because they don't believe they did anything wrong.

"They believe the acted reasonably and in compliance with the law and policy, given what the city leadership in forum of statements they don't believe they would have been given a fair shake." Weaver said.

Weaver was asked if the video that circulated social media -- recorded by bar-goers the night of the incident -- influenced the decision of the officers voluntarily resigning instead of letting the process play out, Weaver said "not really."

"These police officers like all police officers they film everything they do including their interaction with this man everything they did was already on their own bodycam the fact that it was recorded by a third party really has nothing it really means not much in terms of what they did or why they did it." Weaver said. "I do believe the public out cry has impacted the city leadership in terms of how they are going to handle the situation."

The resignation of Pottorff and Shouse comes after the two were seen on video May 7 attempting to detain Lee E. Martin. The video shows Pottorff punching Martin five times in the face while Shouse is trying to hold Martin down.

The video prompted a use-of-force investigation by the Columbia Police Department and a criminal investigation by the Boone County Sheriff's Office.

An arrest report says Martin was accused of third-degree assault, resisting arrest, trespassing and fourth-degree assault.  The report says police were called there for a disturbance but what led up to the disturbance remains unknown.

Pottorff and Shouse both began their work at CPD in 2020, according to the city's human resources department.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Erika McGuire


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