A former Missouri police officer pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges accusing him of excessive force when he used his stun gun on a teenager during a traffic stop.

Timothy Runnels was arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, on two counts apiece of deprivation of civil rights and of obstruction of justice in connection with the Sept. 14 confrontation with 17-year-old Bryce Masters of Independence, a Kansas City suburb where Runnels worked.

The indictment, returned Thursday and unsealed Friday, alleges that Runnels “continuously” shocked Masters with his stun gun while the teen was on the ground and unthreatening, then dropped Masters face-first onto the ground while he was restrained. The teen’s heart stopped, but he survived.


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