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Kansas undersheriff charged in fatal beanbag shooting

This Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 booking photo released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation shows Virgil “Dusty” Brewer. The Kansas undersheriff who fatally shot a man at close range with a beanbag is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Brewer on Wednesday at the Barber County Courthouse. (Kansas Bureau of Investigation via AP)

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. – A Kansas undersheriff who fatally shot a man with a beanbag round last year was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents on Wednesday arrested Barber County Undersheriff Virgil “Dusty” Brewer, 60, at the Barber County Courthouse. He was sued by the Kansas Attorney General’s office in the Oct. 6, 2017 death of Steven Myers, 42, of Sun City.

Brewer’s bond was set at $15,000 and his first appearance is scheduled for Friday, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a press release. His bond requires him to avoid you in the enforcement of the law work.

Myers was shot in the chest at close range after officers responded to a call about a man threatening people with a gun outside a bar in Sun City, approximately 110 miles (177 kilometers) west of Wichita. By the time officers arrived at the bar, Myers had left the area, but the deputies eventually found him in a barn. He was shot when he got to the barn.

Myers’ widow, Kristina Myers, filed a federal lawsuit in November, alleging the law enforcement officials used excessive force when they killed her husband. The lawsuit argues the police video shows Myers was unarmed and not threatening the officers or attempt to escape before Brewer shot him. Video from a body camera captured Sheriff Lonnie Small to tell Brewer minutes before Myers was shot, which with a bit of luck, “he just comes out and die,” said Michael Kuckelman, who as a representative of the Myers family.

Small was later dismissed from the federal lawsuit, but a judge ruled that he could be sued in a state court.

Kristina Myers said in a news release Wednesday that she was pleased with the criminal charges.

“I am a jumble of emotions,” she said. “Nothing will ever get my husband back, but now at least we’re a step closer to obtaining justice for his death. I’m not really surprised about the current charges. It was really the only possible reaction given the body camera video recordings.”

Kuckelman says in the press release that without the video footage and audio, it would not have been possible to be a criminal or civil charges against Brewer.

The sheriff’s office acted “recklessly and callously” and tried to cover up what happened, ” he said.

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