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Buffalo police officer to face retrial on one count, found not guilty of three other charges

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Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 16:13:37-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Federal prosecutors will seek an immediate retrial of Buffalo Police Officer Corey Krug on the one criminal count that a federal jury could not reach a verdict on after seven days of deliberations.

The jury returned a not guilty verdict against Krug Tuesday afternoon on three other counts facing the veteran officer.

“The defendant, like every person on the street, is guaranteed certain rights under our Constitution," said U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. "Among those rights are the rights to due process and a fair trial. The defendant exercised his constitutional rights and the jury acquitted him on three counts. That is the way our Constitution and our system of justice are supposed to work. We accept the jury’s verdict, and we will be seeking an immediate retrial of the defendant on Count 4 of the Superseding Indictment.”
An investigation into Krug’s police conduct began after 7 Eyewitness News cameras captured Krug beating and hitting a man with a night stick on Thanksgiving Eve in 2014. The video captured by our cameras has been a key piece of evidence in the Krug case. Jurors often asked for “play-backs” of the video during deliberations. Ultimately, the charge related to the Thanksgiving Eve incident was the one on which the jury remained deadlocked.

Since 2014, Krug has been suspended by the force and has been receiving his $83,000 salary.

Throughout the two-week trial, prosecutors painted a picture of Krug as a “bully with a badge.” Krug and his attorneys have argued the use of force in each of the three cases was “justified.” They say throughout his 20-year career with the Buffalo Police Department, he has been assigned to some of the “toughest beats in the city.”

In addition to the Thanksgiving Eve incident, Krug was also charged in prior use of force cases dating back to 2004, 2006 and 2007. One case included an alleged assault on a handcuffed suspect. In that 2004 case, Krug stood on the suspect's back and “jumped up and down,” then slammed him against a van. Krug “later used an ice scraper” to scrape the suspect’s blood off the window.

Krug also was accused of punching a handcuffed man in the jaw when the suspect was already in a police car.

The defense said Krug was just doing his job.

The 12 jurors-- eight women and four men-- asked for many “read-backs” and definitions, such as how “excessive force” is defined under the law.

Ultimately, Krug was found not guilty of two counts of deprivation of constitutional rights and not guilty of one count of falsification of records. The jury could not agree on a verdict another count of deprivation of constitutional rights.