Ex-Albuquerque cop found not guilty in beating case
Posted at: 09/26/2013 12:03 PM
| Updated at: 09/26/2013 12:47 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
Connor Rice watches lapel video from the arrest incident in May 2012.
A former Albuquerque police officer has been found not guilty of battery charges in the arrest of two drug suspects last year.
Connor Rice was accused of tasering one man and beating another in May 2012. The incident was caught on Rice's lapel camera.
Opening statements were given earlier this week in the case, with witness testimony lasting just a couple of days.
One of the biggest pieces of evidence was the lapel camera video. The jury watched the nearly 30-minute long video of Rice entering an apartment without a warrant and using a Taser on one of the suspects. The video also shows another police officer stepping on the face of the other suspect while Rice punched him. That man could be heard saying, "I surrender."
Rice took the stand on Wednesday and said what he did was justifiable given the circumstances. He said the two men involved were not cooperating with police, causing the situation to escalate.
The jury reached a verdict on Thursday morning. Upon learning he was found not guilty on both counts of aggravated and misdemeanor battery, Rice and his family began to cry.
Rice's friend told KOB Eyewitness News 4 earlier today that if he was found not guilty, Rice planned to re-apply for his job with the Albuquerque Police Department.
Rice was fired last May after the incident.