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NEWS: Crime

OKC Officer Charged With Misdemeanor Assault And Battery

Posted: Updated:
Sgt. Downing remains on administrative leave. Sgt. Downing remains on administrative leave.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery following a traffic stop.

According to Oklahoma City police, Sgt. Matthew Downing stopped a driver who was not paying attention when the light turned green at N.W. 36th Street and May Ave. at about 10:35 a.m. on Sunday, January 26.

As Sgt. Downing was speaking with the driver, police said another vehicle drove by, and that driver leaned out the window and yelled a comment regarding the traffic stop.

News 9 reporter Adrianna Iwasinski obtained a police report Monday. According to the report, that officer was yelling at a driver at the intersection at N.W. 36th and May Ave. when another driver yelled at him.

According to police, Sgt. Downing then left the scene of the original traffic stop to talk to the driver who yelled the comment. He caught up to that car, which was stopped at a convenience store in the area.

Sgt. Downing spoke with that driver inside the store. He tried to arrest him and the driver resisted, which resulted in a minor use of force, police said.

According to police, a police supervisor responded to the scene to investigate the use of force. The supervisor did not agree with the officer's actions. He released the driver and notified command of the incident.

"A supervisor was contacted, came to the scene, and reviewed the officer's actions," said Captain Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department. "That supervisor found that the officer's actions were unwarranted. and ordered the immediate release of the individual."

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty directed the Office of Professional Standards to conduct a criminal investigation into the incident. The investigation concluded with a criminal charge presented to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

The District Attorney has formally charged him with misdemeanor assault and battery for confronting the man inside the convenience store, all for yelling the phrase, "Road rage sucks!"

Sgt. Downing remains on administrative leave. He has not been arrested since he's out of town.

Downing, a 15-year veteran of the force, is part of the Uniform Support assigned to the Traffic Unit.

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