Beaumont officer found guilty of official oppression - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Beaumont officer found guilty of official oppression

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A Bexar County jury has found Beaumont Police Officer David Todd Burke guilty of official oppression and the judge in the case sentenced him to one year probation and fined him $350.

The charge is a class a misdemeanor.

Burke could also lose his peace officer license, because officers are not allowed to have a misdemeanor offense in the state of Texas.

Jurors Wednesday began deliberating at about 4:45 p.m. and returned the verdict about an hour later.

They heard earlier in the day from both the officer and the man he is accused of hitting, Derrick Newman. They began Newman, on the stand earlier in the day, maintained that he did not resist the officers and followed police commands to remain calm during a 2007 traffic stop caught on videotape by a police car's dashboard camera.

Burke, who is accused of using excessive force on Newman by striking him with a baton several times, took the stand shortly before 252nd District Court Judge Layne Walker called a lunch recess.

 When Burke took the stand, he testified that he was trying to defend himself and another officer when he struck Newman repeatedly during the traffic stop. The 17-year career cop and former Marine said Newman had made a move with his right arm that indicated he might be reaching for a weapon, causing him to respond.

Newman said in his own testimony this morning that he did nothing to warrant a physical response.

It was the second day of testimony in Burke's second trial, the first having ended in a hung jury in Jefferson County in April.

Earlier today, the defense called Gary Duncan, director of the Lamar Institute of Technology Regional Police Academy, as an expert witness. Duncan, who reviewed a recording of the Aug. 24, 2007, incident, told jurors he doesn't believe Burke used excessive force based on several factors, among them that police were dealing with three suspects at a traffic stop that occurred at about midnight in a high-crime area in Beaumont.

Duncan also testified that Burke was unfamiliar with Newman, who appeared to struggle with another officer on the scene.

With the help from Beaumont Enterprise.

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