Grand jury indicts Kansas City officer for shooting man

By Kevin Murphy

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - A grand jury indicted a Kansas City police officer on charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the non-fatal shooting of a 37-year-old man last June, officials said on Friday.

Jacob Ramsey, 31, was arraigned on Friday and a judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, the Jackson County prosecutor's office said in a news release. Ramsey will be tried in April by a judge at his request.

His indictment comes during a period of heightened attention toward officer-involved shootings that has following a grand jury's decision in November not to indict a white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man.

The Kansas City indictment does not identify the man the officer shot or provide details about the shooting. It also does not disclose the races of the officer or victim.

In a statement after the shooting, Kansas City police said the officer was making a warrant check when the man ran from a house and the officer fired because he thought the man was about to shoot him. Police said the man was critically wounded.

A man who described himself as a cousin told FOX-4 television in Kansas City in June that the officer shot the man in the face as he ran unarmed out the back door of his house.

Kansas City police on Friday said the officer has been with the department nearly five years and is assigned to the tactical enforcement unit. The officer is on unpaid leave, it said.

The Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police said Ramsey is an impeccable officer with a flawless record who defended himself justifiably.

"The FOP will devote all of its substantial resources to the defense of Officer Ramsey, and will stand by him throughout this process, which will ultimately lead to his acquittal," the police union said in a statement.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Beech)