While the investigation is ongoing, the deputy who ran over a black man is working in a state prison.
According to the attorney for the injured guy, a Kansas officer who was seen on dashcam film running over a Black man now works at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility while being under criminal investigation.
According to the Associated Press, Lionel Womack, a former Kansas City police detective, filed an excessive force complaint against Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez, accusing him of purposely running him over in August of 2020 while he was jogging shirtless through a field.
Womack said the incident gravely wounded his back and pelvis, as well as his right thigh, knee, and foot, after he ran from a traffic stop in what he described as a “fight or flight” situation as six police vehicles surrounded his car. Rodriguez stated in a statement to the complaint that he didn’t hit Womack on purpose, according to the Associated Press.
Womack’s lawyer, Michael Kuckelman, wrote to Kansas Secretary of Corrections Jefferey Zmuda and Warden Dan Schnurr on Tuesday, expressing his surprise that Rodriguez was working as a master sergeant at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Kuckelman urged them to speak with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation about the current criminal investigations.
In an email to the Associated Press on Wednesday, William Townsley, the deputy’s lawyer, said Kuckelman’s letter, which was copied to the press, was likely an attempt to change opinion and that it was designed to “harangue” Rodriguez. He went on to suggest that it appears to be an attempt to sway state officials, noting that they “expect the Secretary and Warden will not be scared by his bluster.” In an email, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections said the department is attempting to identify its position on the matter and will follow up “at a more opportune time.” According to Kuckelman’s letter, Rodriguez claimed in his deposition that he was invited to work at the Hutchinson prison by the Department of Corrections, despite the fact that he is still under criminal investigation and is on administrative suspension from the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office. He said that Zmuda and Schnurr made the decision to allow him to work at the prison.
In his letter, Kuckelman advised them to look at the videos showing Rodriguez chasing down Womack. This is a condensed version of the information.