May 16, 2020 8:00 PM

2 KC officers accused of assaulting transgender woman

Posted May 16, 2020 8:00 PM
Image from cellphone video of the arrest taped by a bystander courtesy KCTV
Image from cellphone video of the arrest taped by a bystander courtesy KCTV

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas City police officers face assault charges for allegedly slamming a transgender woman's face into a concrete sidewalk during an arrest that was captured on video.

A grand jury indicted Matthew Brummett, 37, and Charles Prichard, 47, on one misdemeanor charge each of fourth-degree assault related to the May 24, 2019, physical encounter, the Jackson County prosecutor's office announced Friday.

The video, recorded by a passerby outside a beauty supply store, shows the officers kneeing the woman in the face, torso and ribs and forcing her arms over her head while handcuffed. The woman was black; the officers are white.

The woman has since died after being shot in October at a Kansas City home, and a man has been charged in her death. She went by various first names, including Brianna or Brionna, Bebe, and Briya. Her surname was Hill.

Prosecutors said police arrested Hill after she got into a dispute with someone at the beauty supply store. Both she and the store's owner called 911, and the owner asked officers to remove Hill. The officers said Hill was resisting arrest when they took her to the ground outside the store.

Hill was ticketed for trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brummett and Prichard maintain that they used reasonable force, according to a statement from their attorneys.

“They vehemently dispute the basis of these charges and believe they will be ultimately exonerated in Court," the statement said.

Police Chief Rick Smith announced late Friday that both officers have been placed on “administrative assignment until the outcome of the proceeding."

A Kansas City Police Department investigation determined the officers did nothing wrong, according to the police union. The Jackson County prosecutor's office said it brought the case to a grand jury because police declined to provide prosecutors with a probable cause statement, which is normally submitted by a detective at the conclusion of an investigation.

An attorney who represents Hill’s family, David Smith, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Saturday that he believes the police chief mishandled the investigation and he called for the him to resign. David Smith and Rick Smith are not related.

“You don’t treat this woman like a piece of trash because you think she is a freak,” David Smith said.

Continue Reading North Platte Post
May 16, 2020 8:00 PM
Pandemic casualty: JC Penney to close 240 stores

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney will close almost 30% of its 846 stores as part of a restructuring under bankruptcy protection. The ailing department store said Monday that it plans to close about 192 stores by February 2021, and then 50 additional stores in the year after that.

That would leave the company with just over 600 locations. J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy reorganization on Friday, making it the biggest retailer to do since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down all stores.

The company has not released a list of stores that will close.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has pushed troubled department store chain J.C. Penney into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

It is the fourth major retailer to meet that fate. Texas-based Penney said late Friday it will be reducing its store count and will be disclosing details and timing in the next few weeks.

It currently operates 850 stores and employs nearly 90,000 workers. It said that it received $900 million in financing to help it operate during the restructuring. Penney joins luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus and J.Crew in filing for bankruptcy reorganization. Others are expected to follow. Still many experts are pessimistic about Penney’s long-term survival.

Check the Post for additional details, as they become available on how the bankruptcy impacts local stores.

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U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened stores across the country and weighed down a sinking economy.

The Commerce Department’s report on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so quickly that sales over the past 12 months are down a crippling 21.6%. The sharpest drops from March to April were at clothiers, electronics stores, furniture stores and restaurants.

A long-standing migration of consumers toward online purchases is accelerating, with that segment posting a 8.4% monthly gain. Measured year over year, online sales surged 21.6%.