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Lawsuit accuses KCPD officer of assault. He’s already killed 3, put knee on pregnant woman

A Kansas City police officer who has previously killed three people and also twice been accused of excessive force faces a new lawsuit over his alleged actions in another arrest. Officer Blayne Newton is being sued for assault and battery in Platte County Circuit Court. Bermeeka Mitchell, a Lansing, Kansas, resident, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday. Mitchell began live-streaming an arrest at a Platte County Walmart on Sept. 11, 2022. Newton was working off-duty, but was wearing a Kansas City Police Department uniform and driving a KCPD patrol car. An unknown person motioned towards Newton to arrest Mitchell for trespassing. Newton “grabbed and twisted both her arms in a forceful manner,” the lawsuit says, and placed the heel of his boot on her foot and grinded it down. The lawsuit says he “very tightly” placed Mitchell in handcuffs, which left visible marks. She was detained in a private room at the store. Newton allegedly told her she would not be charged with trespassing and resisting arrest if she agreed to “not make a scene” when she exited the property, the lawsuit says. No charges were filed, according to a court record check. Mitchell says in the lawsuit she did not resist arrest and that Newton did not have a legal basis to arrest her. According to court documents, the Kansas City Police Department’s Office of Community Complaints sustained Mitchell’s allegations of excessive force. A May 2023 letter from the OCC said disciplinary action was taken, but it did not provide details. “It’s extremely disconcerting that this pattern continues with KCPD and it appears that very little has been done to discourage this behavior,” Mitchell’s attorney John Picerno said. In June 2023, Newton fatally shot two people and injured a third person. In March 2020, he shot Donnie Sanders, a 47-year-old man who was unarmed. Later that year, he was accused of placing his knee into the back of a woman who was nine months pregnant during an arrest. He was also one of three officers accused of beating and using a Taser on a teenager in 2019. KCPD police spokesman Capt. Jake Becchina said Newton, who started with the department in January 2017, is assigned to the patrol bureau. Becchina said the department doesn’t comment on pending litigation. The department, he said, actively trains on de-escalation and conflict resolution in the academy and during continuing education courses. It also reports cases of potential civil rights violations or excessive force to federal authorities, he said. Newton’s actions as a KCPD officer have provoked concern in the community. “Blayne Newton is a serial killer,” Steve Young, an organizer with Kansas City Law Enforcement Accountability Project, previously told The Star. “There are officers who don’t discharge their weapons their entire careers. He’s now responsible for three deaths and two assaults that we know of.” Lora McDonald, executive director of the social justice organization MORE2, said Thursday that the latest allegations involving Newton were disturbing and called on the department to hold him accountable. Katie Moore Katie Moore 816-234-4312 Katie Moore, an enterprise and accountability reporter, started with The Kansas City Star in 2019. She covers justice issues, including policing, prison conditions and the death penalty. She is a University of Kansas graduate and began her career as a reporter in 2015 in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.
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