Virgil Brewer

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Service Record

Freestone County Texas Sheriff's Office

Rank Sergeant
Dates of Service Ended December 3, 2016.[1]
Last Known Status Resigned[1]

Barber County Kansas Sheriff's Office

Rank Undersheriff
Dates of Service January 9, 2017 - January 8, 2021.[2]
Last Known Status Administrative Leave[3]

Incident Reports

2017 Death of Steven Myers

Body cam shows deadly shooting by Barber Co., KS, undersheriff
Virgil Brewer booking photo
Virgil Brewer

On October 6, 2017, police were called about a man with a rifle. Deputies arrived and found Myers in a shed. Myers complied with commands to exit the shed, and was unarmed. Myers was given conflicting commands by Brewer and Deputy Mark Suchy. Brewer shot Myers with a bean bag round. The bean bag penetrated Myers' chest, killing him.[2]

Brewer was not wearing a body-worn camera.[4] The incident was captured on Suchy's body-worn camera.[2]

Response Timeline

Brewer used his personal shotgun and bean bag ammunition that he had received at a previous job. Brewer had not been trained on the use of bean bag ammunition, including "where to shoot a subject or the appropriate range to shoot a subject".[2]

It was determined that Brewer shot Myers "center mass", which was "inconsistent with training standards". The bean bag was rectangle shaped, which had been discontinued for several years due to "a likelihood of causing penetrating injuries".[2]

On November 30, 2017, the family filed a lawsuit against Brewer and the Sheriff, claiming the use of excessive force.[5]

Brewer claimed qualified immunity against the civil lawsuit. That claim was denied in court, in the Court of Appeals, by an "en banc" hearing of the Court of Appeals, and by the U.S. Supreme Court.[4][6]

On September 5, 2018, Brewer was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter.[7]

In 2018, Brewer was placed on unpaid leave.[3]

On February 13, 2019, Brewer pleaded not guilty.[8]

In 2020, the city settled the family's lawsuit for $3.5 million.[3]

On November 2, 2022, Brewer was acquitted by a jury on the manslaughter charge.[3]

On May 30, 2023, the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training (POST) revoked Brewer's law enforcement certification for unprofessional conduct and a lack of good moral character.[2]

2018 Death of Olivia Rennaker

On April 4, 2018, Rennaker was arrested and jailed for a drug possession charge. Brewer was in charge of supervising inmates at the jail.[9]

On April 9, 2018, Rennaker committed suicide in her cell.[9]

Response Timeline

On March 30, 2020, Rennaker's former husband sued Brewer, deputies Andrew Paasch and Mark Suchy, and the sheriff, claiming that a lack of officer training and prisoner monitoring led to Rennaker's death and violated her rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.[9]

LEO Ratings

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 DEAR EDITOR – RESIGNATION OF SGT. DUSTY BREWER, Freestone County Times, 2016-12-07
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Summary Order of Revocation, Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training, 2023-05-30
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Margaret Stafford, Kansas ex-undersheriff not guilty in fatal beanbag shooting, KSN, 2022-11-02
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mary Clarkin, Supreme Court declines appeal, Hutchinson News, 2020-01-17
  5. Kansas widow sues sheriff, undersheriff over shooting death, AP News, 2017-11-30
  6. Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, U.S. Supreme Court, 2019-08-22
  7. Kansas undersheriff charged in fatal beanbag shooting, KMAN, 2018-09-05
  8. Karen Leidy, ‘NOT GUILTY’ PLEA FILED BY FORMER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY, Freestone County Times, 2019-02-22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Rennaker vs. Brewer et al Complaint, U.S. District Court, 2020-03-30

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