Suspended Buffalo cop may testify in trial

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 11:16:49-05

Months after Buffalo Police Officer Corey Krug was indicted on three federal deprivation of rights charges and a fourth count of falsification of records, the embattled officer is due in federal court.

Krug's Thursday morning hearing will be on motions filed by his defense attorney, Terrance Connors.

7 Eyewitness News has learned Connors wants to have some -- if not, all -- charges against the officer dismissed.

Krug was recorded by a 7 Eyewitness News photographer, storming up Chippewa Street, hitting Devin Ford with his baton, while Ford was on the ground with his hands in the air. This happened early Thanksgiving morning in 2014.  Ford was never charged with any crime.

According to court documents obtained by 7 Eyewitness News, Ford "suffered pain, swelling and bruising of his left leg" as a result of "four or five" blows from Krug.

Prosecutors say they have the raw and broadcast video of the Thanksgiving incident, Krug's personnel file and photos of Devin Ford's injuries. All of this could be submitted into evidence at trial.

But in court documents, government prosecutors explain Krug's use of force, recorded that Thanksgiving morning, is not an isolated incident.

While the FBI was looking into Krug's past, "...investigating agents found numerous civilian complaints against (him) which alleged excessive force."

Most of those cases, prosecutors say, happened outside of the five-year statute of limitations.

Two cases, however, were not. Krug is facing civil rights violations for those cases as well.

In at least one of those cases, prosecutors say Krug intentionally tried to cover up his use of force.

Marcus Worthy was confronted and arrested by Krug in August, 2010. Charges against him were later dropped. 

Worthy told 7 Eyewitness News, Krug hit him several times while he was handcuffed, Worthy said Krug used a flashlight, hitting him in the back of the head.

"Marcus Worthy testified that he was in possession of pictures depicting the injuries supposedly caused by Office(r) Krug," according to Krug's attorney Terry Connors. Connors wrote in court documents, "...these (pictures) were not in the discovery provided by the prosecution and likely no longer exist."

But documents filed by the government explain there were other Buffalo police officers "on the scene (who) observed Krug strike (Worthy) and observed that Worthy was bleeding." Prosecutors say two other people also saw Krug hit Worthy.

Despite other officers seeing this happen, prosecutors say Krug never acknowledged using a flashlight to hit Worthy, in a department Use of Force form.

The government notes, "Krug claimed on the form to only having made physical contact with (Worthy) and checked "no" in the question asking if (he) used an impact weapon to strike the individual."

In court documents, Krug's attorney, Terry Connors, says this wasn't a cover up at all.

"A flashlight in not an "impact weapon" under any standard.  In fact, Buffalo Police Officers are not issued a flashlight. They purchase their own if they desire. They are issued a gun, handcuffs, baton and ASP. These are impact weapons. A flashlight is not," according to Connors.

Federal prosecutors write, "whether the flashlight as wielded by Krug constituted an impact weapon, is a question of fact for the jury to determine..."

The government also notes Krug never filed a Use of Force form after the Thanksgiving incident, despite being recorded by a 7 Eyewitness News crew, using his baton.

At trial, the government noted, they "would call witnesses from the Buffalo Police Department to explain the training and standards regarding use of force within the department."

Prosecutors are also waiting to get a copy of "audio tapes of the BPD radio calls leading up to the events" in Marcus Worthy's case.

Krug's attorney explains in filed paperwork, his client may want to testify and defend himself in the Marcus Worthy case, if it was separated from the other three charges. Connors noted Krug would not want to testify in the Devin Ford case. 

Still, prosecutors argue the charges should not be dropped nor separated.

Krug was appointed to the Buffalo Police Department in July, 2002. Connors said Krug has made more than 1,000 lawful arrests and has worked some of the toughest assignments over his career.

A trial date has not been set.  Krug was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to all four charges in August. Krug is still being paid by the Buffalo Police Department, although he was suspended indefinitely after the 2014 Thanksgiving incident.

Krug is due in federal court Thursday morning at 11:00.




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