28 July 2023

US police officer convicted of assault after handcuffed suspect hit by train

28 July 2023

A Colorado officer who put a handcuffed woman in a parked police vehicle that was hit by a freight train has been found guilty of reckless endangerment and assault.

Jordan Steinke was acquitted of the third charge of criminal attempt to commit manslaughter.

Steinke was the first of two officers to go on trial over the September 16 2022 crash that left Yareni Rios-Gonzalez seriously injured.

Steinke testified that she did not know that the patrol car of another officer whom she was helping was parked on the tracks, even though they can be seen on her body camera footage along with two rail crossing signs.

Steinke said she was focused on the threat that could come from Rios-Gonzalez and her pick-up truck, not the ground.

Steinke said she put Rios-Gonzalez in the other officer’s vehicle because it was the nearest spot to temporarily hold her. She said she did not know the train was coming until just before it hit.

There was no jury in Steinke’s trial, which started on Monday. Instead, Judge Timothy Kerns listened to the evidence and issued the verdict.

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