KEARNEY, Neb. – A jury has acquitted a Nebraska police officer in the shooting of a man after a traffic stop last year.
The Kearney Hub reports (http://bit.ly/2o7hMVs ) that suspended Kearney police officer Derek Payton was found not guilty Thursday of second-degree assault.
Payton had pleaded not guilty in September for the June 5 shooting of Jose Klich. Payton is accused of shooting three times at Klich, striking him once in the abdomen. Prosecutors had said Payton was not in the path of Klich's car when Klich began to drive off.
Prosecutors played audio recordings of officers' radio calls, and when Payton was asked why he was pursuing Klich's vehicle, he could be heard saying, "He hit me with his car."
Payton had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Information from: Kearney Hub, http://www.kearneyhub.com/