Arkansas police chief on trial for excessive force
HARRISON — A trial started this week for the chief of the Bull Shoals Police Department, who is accused of using excessive force against a suspect.
Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield is charged with depriving Nicholas Dore of his rights and attempting to cover up the incident by ordering fellow Bull Shoals officer David Chatman to write a false report. Prosecutors said Sutterfield, 35, kicked and beat Dore with a shotgun and threw him into a fireplace during an arrest last July, according to the Baxter Bulletin.
Sutterfield's lawyer, Bruce Eddy, said in opening statements in federal court Tuesday that he would prove Sutterfield's innocence to the jury.
The trial began with testimony from Dore's live-in girlfriend, who testified that Dore choked her. She said her daughter reported the assault to police.
Chatman, who also testified in federal court, said he, Sutterfield and another officer arrived at Dore's house to investigate the report. After knocking on the front door and not being answered by Dore — whom they could see walking inside — Chatman said the police chief kicked open the door.
They found Dore lying face down on a couch, with a blanket covering him, according to Chatman. He said officers moved Dore from the couch onto the floor and then handcuffed one of his wrists. The police chief told Dore several times to show his other hand, but when Dore didn't, Sutterfield used a stun gun on him three times. They were then able to cuff both of his hands.
Chatman also testified the police chief threw Dore into the living room's fireplace. He said Sutterfield knew Dore's live-in girlfriend and her brother because the chief had previously worked for their family.